Who do you serve?

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 

Starting this week’s blog with a bible verse that has been playing over in my mind a couple of days now. It was interesting that this verse shows up in Matthew and Luke. As if it was so important that it needed to be repeated. I know the verse mentions money but I feel like in this modern world, there are a lot of things that replace money. But the principle of the verse remains the same. You cannot serve two masters. You can’t serve God and give in to worldly things. I feel like society is riddled with false idols and people try to connect them to God to make it OK. 

When we try to multi task, studies show that you can’t give everything the same amount of effort. So while you think you are getting things done, you are not giving your best. If I am trying to have a relationship with God and balance an active social life, one of the two things will dominate my time. But both won’t be equal. I am not saying you can’t do both but you need to be aware of your priorities. Time is limited and we need to spend it wisely. If I have twenty minutes to spare, I could either pray or scroll through Facebook but I cannot do both. If I constantly choose to scroll through Facebook that will impact my relationship with God negatively. 

I have mentioned before that discipline is necessary. This blog should have and could have been posted since Tuesday but I kept procrastinating and focusing on other things from my to do list. Those things needed to get done but because I put them first, something else didn’t get done. I have been trying to avoid calling myself a Christian as I feel as if the title is heavy. There are so many misconceptions and I also don’t want the responsibility that comes with it. But this journey has taught me about grace. I am a Christian and I am human. Obeying God is not always as easy as 1,2,3. God knows this and He isn’t asking us to be perfect. He is asking us to show up and try. 

Our lives are a series of choices and we are in control. If there is something happening in our lives that we do not like, we can change things by making better choices. We can choose to be disciplined and stick to our priorities. Go with an open and willing heart. God knew we were imperfect yet He died for us. Instead of beating ourselves up when we fall, we should turn to God and ask Him for His forgiveness and grace. We can change and we can always change for the better. 

Do not attempt to serve two Gods because we know how that ends. Seek Him first daily and stand strong in faith knowing that He is a way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, and a light in the darkness. 

You will know them by their fruits

This morning as I was watering my plants, I noticed my peas. I see them every day as I water but today I really saw them. My garden has been invaded by caterpillars and just a day or two ago, I had to pick some off of my passionfruit plant which is in the same area as my peas. Those pesky bugs already ate my cucumbers, pumpkin and other pea seedlings so I was upset and losing hope as most of my crops were wiped out. I planted these plants months ago and they were flourishing at one point but now I was considering pulling them out. Most of the leaves were gone, thanks to those caterpillars and they looked frail.

But this morning I noticed that despite their lackluster appearance, they were loaded with peas! You have to understand, they barely had any leaves but yet there were peas. And I got it then. Something that I thought was “damaged” could still “bear fruit”. God works in mysterious ways. We look at persons and sometimes ourselves and think we are too damaged to be used but all God sees is a vessel. Many persons have brought their broken spirits to the altar as sacrifice and God has taken them and used them. Psalms 51:17: “my sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart you, God will not despise.”

It makes me think of the phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. We are God’s treasure. No matter how beaten down we feel, he sees glory. See the thing is, even though I saw the leaves being eaten and I was losing hope of them surviving, I continued to water them. They were planted in good soil so everything was still there to allow it to bear fruit.

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.”

Romans 7:4 ASV

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples.”

John 15:8 ASV

“Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their heart.”

Jeremiah 12:2 ASV

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me.”

John 15:4 ASV

God planted us in good soil (our faith) and provided the living waters ( His Word) we need to take root and grow. Our fruit is meant to bring glory to God. God provides for the birds and the grass of the fields ( in this case, plants) so they are literally just being. There were some high winds a while back and the top of my sugar apple tree broke. It was a decent branch and I was worried about its growth but lo and behold, a few days later I saw green leaves shooting from the broken branch. God did that. He restores. But human beings have been given the gift of choice. God did not force us into obeying Him. So as the scripture says we must abide in Him. When we delight ourselves in Him, He gives us the desires of our heart. If we truly abide in Him, we will have hearts after His own.

We are meant to bear fruit to glorify Hin but what is the fruit we are meant to bear? Galatians 5:22 says : “but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” You will know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16) If we abide in God and bear the fruit of the Spirit, we will glorify God. But as stated in Jeremiah 12:2, He is always on our lips but far from our hearts. Proverbs 14:14 warns us “ the backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.” So again we see that it doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside but what matters is on the inside. Are we abiding in God as we should and thereby bearing fruit that glorify Him or are we backsliders in heart who will be revealed by our fruit?