Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12 Thought for the day...pay attention to the fruit

Have you ever had a piece of fruit that looked gorgeous on the outside, but once you bit into it, you have either found it rotten or not ripe? I'm sure it has happened to all of us, and I have had it happen in ministry as well. Here is what Jesus said about it...

Matthew 7:20 "Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their fruit.

Good fruit comes from good trees, and bad fruit comes from bad trees. As a manager at Cornerstone TeleVision, I had hired over 100 people in my career. As a young, inexperienced manager, I had a few major mistakes in hiring. Rather than checking about a person's attitude and actions, I made hiring decisions based on what I saw on a resume or in person rather than taking note of their attitude and action. I found that even though they looked good, their fruit proved they were bad. The word fruit here means - a person's deeds, actions, moral character, and behavior, and the output of the person's work.

This is a challenge for any manager, friend, and especially in ministry. Jesus saw a tree that looked perfect leaves lush and green, fully developed, but there was no fruit. It looked like it was perfect, but it was fruitless. Things like gossip, backbiting, dissensions, rebellion against authority, pride, fear, insecurity all things that can be hidden but once picked, can spoil their potential will fail. The fruit of a person's life never lies.

Sometimes people just aren't ready to be chosen. They are not yet ripe. John Mark was that way. Paul and Barnabas had taken him with them on a journey when he decided to leave them. They thought, and he thought, he was ready but under pressure found he wasn't and left them. It so upset Paul that it caused a division between him and Barnabas. However, with maturity and wisdom, John Mark grew up, and later Paul requested him, he was useful for service.

Right now, you may think you are ready for that job, promotion, or ministry position, but my challenge to you is looking at your fruit. Are you patient, kind, loving, caring, supportive, always looking, and believing the best about people? If you are, then you are ready for that promotion or position. If not, allow the Lord to correct you, work on you, and bring you to maturity, so you are ready.

God has a plan to bless, promote, and open doors for you. He expects you to be open to His correction and do things His otherwise you will keep going around the same mountain until you do. He loves you enough to allow that to happen in your life!

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