Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spiritually Reproducing

Matthew 21:43  Therefore I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing fruits.  (ESV)

In this parable (v. 33-46) Jesus gets the Chief Priests & Elders to proclaim their own ill fate (v. 41).  Note how masterfully here He turns it back to the vineyard analogy - those who do receive the kingdom will be a "fruit-bearing" people.  When those who were not worthy rejected the kingdom, God invites all to come (22:9).  It was the tax collectors and prostitutes who believed the message of John (v. 32).  "Many are called but few are chosen" (v. 14).  Of those who come, there must be a fruit-bearing transformation!

In Jesus, God takes the kingdom from the religious, legalistic, ethnically-pure, and offers it to all the world (Gentiles).  But those of us who are fortunate enough to receive it must be fruit-bearing people - spiritually reproducing!  Brad, go and make disciples - not disciples of you, followers of Jesus.  Point the way to Him.  Teach them His words, show them His way.

Who You love, I'll love.  How You serve, I'll serve.  Where You go, Lord Jesus, I will go.  I will follow You.*  You are my King, Lord God.  Come Holy Spirit.  Fill me and empower me to make disciples of Jesus.  For I have it not (this ability) within myself.  I present myself as as living sacrifice to bear fruit for the kingdom.

In Jesus' name - Amen,


*from the song I Will Follow by Chris Tomlin

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Matthew 21:13  He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers."  (ESV)

In Jesus' day, temple worship had been turned into a money-making scam.  After tossing them out (apparently He had authority to do so), He quotes the prophet Isaiah who said God's house should be a house of Prayer to all nations (including foreigners).  Prayer is one of the key components of the New Testament church (Apostolic teaching, fellowship, prayer & praise - Acts 2:42, 47).  And the power of prayer (with faith) is the main point of Jesus teaching to the disciples that follows immediately (v. 20-22).

There is no temple in the New Testament, no sacred space, building or geographical location set aside (sanctified) for the worship of God.  We ourselves (believers) are the dwelling place of His Spirit.  So in His church (that's us) we ought to be regularly engaged in prayer - this key component of New Testament worship.  As Pastor Jeff said a couple of weeks ago - "Pray, pray, pray!"

Lord Jesus - its to You I pray.  Oh God my Father hear my prayer.  Holy Spirit make me a man of prayer - prayer without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).  Oh God, hear my prayer.  Make me, this sinner, a bible teacher - for Your glory, for Your kingdom, for Your people.

In Jesus' name - Amen,