Show Me

Matthew 12: 33             Voice Translation

Good trees produce good fruits; bad trees produce bad fruits. You can always tell a tree by its fruits.

This is not a farming tip today, though I guess it is a good thing to know. Actually, Jesus spoke this verse in teaching that our words reveal our character. We can no more hide the health of our hearts than a bad tree can camouflage its bad fruit.

This goes to the heart of our evangelical message because it is hard to convince people about the good fruit of Christianity when they perceive rotten fruit on our trees. However, there is another group we should bear in mind because not all evangelism is to strangers. Let’s think about our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers as well. What are our actions and words saying to these people about Christianity?

In the United States, the state of Missouri is known as the “Show me state.” So, if we were all from Missouri we might say, “Show me your Christianity!” You see, if our words are not in keeping with our fruit they will have no weight. The fruit on our trees speaks much more loudly than our words. Our Christianity can best be measured in how we treat other people. People see how we treat each other and they judge all of Christianity by that simple measure, and perhaps rightfully so.

If Christianity is about anything, it is about loving others. This love, is an action verb. It’s not about having a feeling. It is about demonstrating and expressing kindness, gentleness and all the other character traits of our dear Father. Without the outward expression of selflessness and consideration for others, our Christian message fails.

Think about the children we are raising. They hear a lot of messages out there and we are trying to compete with our message of Christian love but are we modeling it? What does it do to an impressionable heart when you claim you are a Christian but do not produce fruit? I tell you it confuses our young people. Even more, it alienates them from the Christian message. And what is the Christian message if not love. But this is not a message which can be conveyed in words alone. It is in our actions, and, as I’ve said, most notably in the way we treat others. These children are saying very loudly to us, “Don’t tell me about your Christianity. Show me.”

I believe they have a right to expect Christianity to be demonstrated to them. They ought to see Christianity in action. Believe me, they will not follow someone who is not authentic and sincere. It is okay to make mistakes. We all do, but there is so much persuasion in admitting fault to your children, even in apologizing to them when we err.

I hope you will give this some thought and let it sink into your heart. We must produce good fruit if we want our Christian message to have any credence at all. The fruit is most noticeably demonstrated, and weighed, in how we treat others, including our children, friends, and associates. We evangelize every day with our actions. The question is, what message are we sending?

Aromatic Imitation

Ephesians 5: 1

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ love us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

We have been told that the Christian life is one of imitating Christ. The Apostle Paul told us to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 11: 1). Did you ever consider being an imitator of God? Can you even wrap your head around that idea. In truth, though, to imitate Christ is to imitate God but somehow it seems easier to think about since he was a man and walked the earth. Imitating Paul puts it one step closer to us but then he tells us to imitate God, doing the things He does, thinking the way He thinks.

Children naturally mimic their parents and that is what Paul is getting at here. The first leg of the stool is that we are children of God. Paul takes that very seriously and very literally. The rest of his thoughts lean upon this premise. If we are truly the children of God, then we have His DNA and we have His heart. We are in every way tied to Him and are of Him so that we can replicate His actions and thoughts. That is a pretty huge concept.

The leading expression of being a child of God is to walk in love for God is love. Jesus, God’s first child, demonstrated the DNA of God in his love for us. He gave. John 3: 16 tells us that because God so loved the world, He gave. So, when Jesus gave all, he was imitating his father. Neither was selfish. Jesus did as he saw his father do. He put all of us before his comfort, needs or desires. Our need trumped his. That is what love does. It puts others first.

Do you see also that Jesus’ offering was fragrant? How often have you thought of the passion of Christ as fragrant? God, however, sees, smells and tastes the beautiful aroma of love. Wherever love is expressed, the scent wafts up to heaven as a fragrant aroma. When you praise God and worship Him, He not only hears your words but He tastes the delicate flavor of your love. Our praise rises to His throne room to flood His senses with joy and pleasure.

In this you see that it really isn’t that difficult to bless the Lord or to minister to Him. The expression of love fills His throne room with pleasant aromas and tickles His palate with divine flavors. As we love others the way Yahweh and Jesus love us, we color the environment with beauty and luscious aroma. It was love that created the earth and love that saved us from hell. As we imitate the Father in love, we create beauty too and when you get to heaven you will be able to fully appreciate your creation.

Little Children

Matthew 19: 14

But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

I wish to solicit your help today in writing the Word of the Day. What do you think Jesus meant by this statement? What are the characteristics of children that Jesus found so attractive? What are these characteristics which distinguish children from adults? Post your insights to the site and we can have a worldwide dialogue on this question.

Jesus wants us to be as children and he tells us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to people who are as children. So, what are these important traits? Jesus must have had childlike qualities because, surely, the kingdom of God is his. I will offer one trait of children that I admire.

Children are honest. That is one of the things I so like about them. Sometimes it is difficult to have the same level of relationship with adults because of honesty issues. There are folks you know that you cannot trust the words coming out of their mouths. I find these people and relationships with them tedious. Sometimes it feels like too much work to be in relationship with them. Even those who are not intentionally deceptive in their relationships are sometimes misleading because they have lied to themselves for so long that they don’t even know their true selves. You know the good news though. His name is Jesus.

Jesus’ indwelling presence within us can heal, inform and resurrect our lives. If we will open ourselves to him, if we can be honest with our feelings and our thoughts before him, he will rejuvenate the spirit within us so that we will be reborn in every sense. Then our reborn selves will be childlike.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Go to to post your suggestions.


2 Corinthians 6: 18

And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me.”

This is a deep and important message but it is difficult for many of us to really fathom. The relationship that God wants to have with you is central to all His thoughts. Every other promise He has made us is here in this simple statement. And He made this statement many times throughout history and is still saying today that He wants to be a father to you and He wants you to be, to choose to be, His child. This relationship is so important to Him that it formed the basis of His covenant with David. Of all the things He could give to David or promise David, God chose this relationship of father and child to be the most important thing He could give. David was well loved by God. The bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13: 14). In other words David was precious and dear to God and David’s behaviors pleased and blessed God’s heart. God could have given David anything in all of creation. He could have promised him anything. What God did do was to promise David everything. Within the covenant He made with David was every need met, the desires of his heart fulfilled and David was made a king to boot. Everything you need or will ever need or want is in this relationship and it is God’s covenant promise to you. Be his kid and let him be your father.

The Hardest Job

Proverb 22: 6           (NIV)

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Every parent confronts a big challenge in raising their children. It has always been a difficult job. God knows it too. He has had a time with disobedient children. That is why He has so constantly sent us prophets and teachers to lead us. Now He has even sent us His own Holy Spirit to be our teacher and our guide. God knows that if we will receive His teaching that it will guide us all the days of our lives. He also sent His son to be an example for us.

In the same way, we raise our own children. It is not enough to just tell them what they have done wrong. We must also tell them when they have done well. We must teach them the difference between right and wrong and help them to make right choices. The most powerful thing we can do for the children in our lives is to set a good example for them just as Jesus did for us. When they see us pray and read our bible, then they learn how life is to be lived. And don’t just read a Bible to them and talk to them about Christ. Live it in front of them. Read your Bible for you. If you don’t want your children to lie, don’t lie. If you don’t want them to steal, don’t steal. Whatever principles guide your life will be the model for them. When you raise your children on Biblical principles they will always have that strength and truth to lean on and to guide them.

It is the toughest job there is to be a parent and there is not a parent out there who couldn’t use the help of the Lord. Parenting is the hardest and most important job you will ever have. Let God lead you and let the Bible be your resource manual. If you raise your children in the Word, they will continue in the Word. Even when they are older and out of your house, they will always have that Word in their hearts directing and keeping them.


Ephesians 1: 5

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.

Just because some are adopted into the family does not make them any less a part of the family than those born into it. We, of course, know this. Yet, have we applied it to our relationship with our heavenly father? Have we really come to know that we are children of the King because he chose us? Adoption is a powerful law which gives the same rights to the adopted children as those who were born into the family. Also, there is a covenant relationship involved in this adoption of gentiles into the family of God because although Jesus was the first born, he was also adopted.

When we read the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 we find that the genealogy that is listed is through Joseph, the husband of Mary. “And to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called ChristMatthew 1: 16. Later in the scriptures Jesus is referred to as the son of Joseph. Man adopted the son of God into a human family and God reciprocated by adopting the children of men into his family. We are absolutely entitled to all of the benefits that belong to an heir because our heritage was guaranteed to us by the promises of generations. We did not earn these benefits but just receive them because we have been adopted into the family of God, but as children of the father, let us try to do all things which are pleasing to him.