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One Bad Apple?
Galatians 5:22-23, NIV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Ok, so you want to produce good spiritual fruits. Don’t we all. It is a
continuous desire, and struggle, to see the fruits of God manifested in our
lives. Many of us would be happy to get through a week without seeing a bad
fruit—say: selfishness, lust, anger, etc. In fact, many of us would be overjoyed
to get through an entire day. Unfortunately, it seems that one bad apple (as
they say), seems to make the whole batch appear rotten. For some of us, when we
do see the good spiritual fruits in our lives, we have a hard time rejoicing in
them. But just as much as God desires you to find victory over the bad fruits,
He wants you to rejoice in the good. Remember, it is because of Christ in you
that good fruits come out from you. It would be terribly wrong not to praise God
for the good He brings. The devil wants nothing more than to drag you down and
remind you of your sin at a time where God has brought victory. “Resist the
devil and he will flee.” And “fix your eyes on Jesus,” giving Him praise for the
good He brings.
FaithWriters is an online Christian Writer's group.
The Voice of One
It is often a desert, and most certainly desolate. It is the place wherein we stand as one--alone. We dare not rely on the support of others and we are careful not to place false expectations in others. For it is a place where we must go alone, be strong and follow through with what we must accomplish.
The voice of one is often one that is not readily accepted. As you become determined to stand up and be counted, to speak boldly when your words will not be accepted, you will be despised. God's Word in you will cut to the heart--it will move the hearts of some toward repentance; while others will be moved to silence you and everything you stand for--and some of those will be people you would never suspect. Some would be close, maybe within your own church.
Nevertheless, you stand. You receive looks that could kill, looks of bewilderment and looks as though you have simply lost your mind. You are talked to politely, and politely dismissed--and talked about when you are no where around. You are the voice of one crying in a wilderness.
The question has been asked, "If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" John the Baptist made a sound that many heard. He was the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He was proof that the strongest sounds are those that come out from the wilderness.
Many of God's leaders came out from the desert. And while many would see the desert as a solitary, empty and lifeless place, it is a place wherein God brings unity from aloneness, fulfillment from emptiness, and life from lifelessness. For as we empty ourselves of ourselves and make ourselves desolate before the Lord, it is then that He can move in such a way that though it would seem there is none around to hear the sound of what He does, it reaches into the farthest corners of the world.
God still needs the voice of one. One who is willing to forsake the pleasures of this life, to become empty of self and self-gain, to become desolate so that in so doing they can be filled with the might and power of God.
A long time ago, a tree stood silently on a hill. There was nothing that would make it stand out among the other trees. In fact, if it fell it might not have ever been heard. Yet it was taken and fashioned to form a cross, and though it is no longer anywhere to be found, its sound still carries in the air and throughout the world today.
Shall we be the voice of one?
Shall we be willing to cry in the wilderness?
Shall we do our part to prepare others for the coming of our Lord?
There is a world of people who are waiting to hear the voice of one echoed in our lives today--the voice of one, crying in the wilderness.