I’m going to try and type out the lesson I gave the ladies last Wednesday evening, like I promised. I’ve never done this before, so I hope I can get the message out there without it sounding too choppy…here goes…
He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root:
Israel shall blossom and bud,
and fill the face of the world with fruit.
We are going to look at being fruitful and filling the face of the world with fruit.
When we think of something being fruitful, I think we always jump ahead and think of a tree that’s heavy with big, beautiful apples…or cherries…or peaches… Or a garden full of delicious veggies that are ready to be picked, eaten and canned to enjoy in the cold winter months.
In the spiritual sense, we might think of that missionary we’ve heard tell chilling stories about the mission field and the many lost being won to Christ… Or the book we’ve read about a Christian who has gone through great trials and difficulties and has written a book that tells of the lives that their testimony has changed.
But realistically, we all know that fruit-bearing, whether we’re talking abut apples or people’s testimonies, didn’t start with that tree full of apples or the lost being saved on the foreign field.
There was a beginning. It all started with a tiny seed. Not big or real noticeable, but absolutely necessary to begin the fruit bearing process.
1) A seed taking root.
In each and every one of our lives, if we are going to bear fruit for the Lord, it will begin the day we become a Christian.
The day I “took root” was September 22, 1988, when we were living in Rossville, Georgia.
My daddy got saved when I was 4 years old and he took us to church every time the doors were open, so I heard the gospel preached from a very young age. I started attending a Christian school in 7th grade and after graduating from high school, I went to a small Bible school, where Joe and I met and were married.
I lived a “good” life and I didn’t rebel against my parents – I was a “good” girl.
And even though I had prayed “the sinners prayer” when I was about 7 years old, I struggled with doubt and I just didn’t have any peace in my heart – the kind that the Holy Spirit gives us when we are truly born again. I also had a real fear of going to hell. There were a few times when the three little kids that we had at the time, would get really quiet (now, when does that ever happen??) and I would think the rapture had happened and I was left behind.
I talked to Joe about it and asked him why I didn’t have peace and why was I afraid of going to hell if I was saved… Thankfully Joe never tried to reassure me and convince me that I was saved. He knew that was the Holy Spirit’s job, so he just listened to me and he prayed.
Here is where I like to encourage moms not to do the job of the Holy Spirit. Mom’s, please don’t reassure you kids (or anyone for that matter) of their salvation. Don’t say, “Oh, I remember when you were 3…or 6…or 8…and you prayed to get saved.” God is well able to show your kids their need – whether its reassurance from the Lord, or if they need to be truly saved, let God do the work in their hearts. Talk with you kids, pray with them…fast for them, if the Lord leads you to…but do not reassure them. Again, let God show them – He will!
In April of 1988, Joe fasted and prayed 6 days for me (and for a couple of other things).
September 22, 1988, I got up and stayed in my room to read my Bible. As I knelt beside our bed, I asked the Lord to please show me if I was saved or lost. I wanted to know.
As I opened my Bible, I read these verses –
For by grace are ye saved through faith:
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Immediately after reading these verses I KNEW I was lost. God, in His Holy Word, made it so clear to me that morning. As I looked back to times when I would talk about being saved, all I could talk about was all I had done…not what HE had done. I was a good girl. I grew up in a Christian home. I went to a Christian school. I went to Bible school and married a preacher. Seriously…it was never what God had done, or was doing in my life. It was all about me, not HIM.
“Ok, Lord, to please show me one more verse,” I prayed…(oh me of little faith), and He led me to II Corinthians 11:14 where it talks about Satan transforming himself into an angel of light. And I thought, if the father of lies and evil could transform himself into an angel of light, I could walk and talk and live like a Christian all those years.
That morning, God made it very clear to me that I was not saved…and I turned from all that I had done and turned to Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross of Calvary, as my only way to heaven. That morning I was truly saved, by the grace of God!
That day I took root, and I finally had peace in my heart that has never gone away.
Do you have peace?
Have you taken root?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved, or if you don’t know what I’m talking about or how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please email me (you’ll find my email address here). I’d be more than happy to explain it to you. It’s not a shame to talk to someone if you’re unsure.
I hope everyone reading this has “taken root.”
Taking root is just the beginning!
The next step is to blossom and bud…
but we’ll talk about that in another post later this week. 🙂