The most important thing to God is a person’s soul
God values those who are lost. We do too.
Where someone is going to spend all of eternity is the most important thing that can be addressed on earth.
In John 16:33 the Lord Jesus says:
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
The Father draws people to Himself through Jesus.
We need to recognize when the Father is drawing someone. When we recognize what the Father is doing in a person’s life, we can receive the Lord’s direction on how we can join Him in His work in the person.
We must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
34And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37“For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
The most important things to the world are tangible. The most important thing to God is a person’s soul.
Deeds of the flesh versus fruits of the Spirit
Deeds of the flesh
Do you have an area where you keep eating out of the trash can?
19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
This night your soul is required of you. What will you do with what you have stored up? You fool. Are you committing foolish deeds? Remember what the Lord says in Luke 12.
Fruits of the Spirit
Salvation means abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in us.
The fruit borne is evidence of what and who we are connected to.
No connection with Christ means no fruits of the Spirit.
1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Why abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in us is of paramount importance
God expects us to be in an abiding relationship with Him so that we bear His fruit and give His fruit to others through love and service.
Verses 7 and 8 have nothing to do with earthly things; as we abide in Him and He is us, God will give us whatever we need to do His work. So whenever we ask Him for anything needed to do His work, He will give it to us.
Bearing much fruit is how the Father is glorified and is also the proof that we really are disciples of Jesus Christ.
And now for a brutally honest time of assessment
On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your number for each one of the fruits of the Spirit listed below?
- Love (versus selfishness)
- Joy (versus depression)
- Peace (versus worry, chaos, discord)
- Patience (versus demanding)
- Goodness (versus indecency)
- Kindness (versus rudeness)
- Gentleness (versus harshness)
- Faithfulness (versus unfaithfulness or flakiness)
- Self-control (versus impulsive)
Each number reveals something about how closely your relationship with Jesus is and as a result how much you are partnering with Jesus in His work in the Kingdom of God.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.