LFM 2019 May 12: Cursed by the Lord for not producing fruit …out of season! Fire Test. Working out my salvation?

LFM – Sunday May 12
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Nearly turning 6 as a ministry
  • God is calling us into maturity,
  • … from milk to meat…Hebrews 5:12 – 14
  • … graduating from playgroup – kuimba na kucheza tu
A bit more seriousness is required for the next level
  • Homework now given for the mature class – need to start recording and practicing what we hear over our lives
  • … Not only listeners but also doers of the Word…James 1:22
  • How many took the prophetic Word seriously, meditated on it and prayed over it during the week?
  • Many are called but few are chosen…Matthew 22:14??
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Last week theme
  • Repentance & doing the right thing
  • … be ready to go through the fire of purification
  • … be ready to vumilia shida (persevere) to be right with God
  • … kumbeba Yesu ( Carrying Christ ) at all times, no matter the situation.
  • … having that healthy fear of the Lord (fearing God more than sin)
  • ……. putting His Word above all things and situations
  • …….. like Joseph with Potiphar’s wife
  • Ezra 10: 1-6 – Repentance, prayer and fasting
  • Hebrews 12 – Perseverance and standing firm in Christ
  • Psalm 51 – Prayer of repentance and restoration
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Mark 11:11-14, 20-24 – Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

Am I producing good fruit for Christ?

Jesus is hungry for His righteousness ( His fruit ) in us

  • We need to be producing fruit worthy of repentance ( that shows we have indeed changed direction towards Christ)…Matthew 3:8
  • This requires us to be attached to Him as the True Vine… John 15
  • Where He Himself will produce His good fruit in us…John 15:4
  • Proof of being a true disciple of Christ and bringing glory to the Father is the bearing of much fruit…John 15:8
  • Those not in Christ cannot bear good fruit and they will be thrown away and burnt ( cursed?)
  • …The axe lies ready at the root of every tree, and those that do not produce any fruit are cut down and thrown into the fire… Matthew 3:10, Matthew 7:19,… for it is using up the soil …Luke 13:7… and they may also hinder others from coming to salvation??…Daniel 4:14??

 

Am I suffering a withered life as a result of a curse from God?

Jesus curses a fig tree – kulaaniwa na Mungu
  • because it didn’t have fruit when not in season! …
  • …not when it is supposed to, but when it is not supposed to!
  • … it was too early for it to have fruit anyway!
  • Unalaaniwa and hujui, haikuwa saa yako! 
  • Living a withered life – of hardship and curses, and not knowing why,  but it is from God? 
  • Because  hakuna dalili ya matunda hata kidogo, ( because there is no indication of fruit in me!)
  • … Mungu anasimamisha baraka zako ( ones blessings are stopped…no one will eat fruit from you again)
  • … results in living a withered life
  • … mpaka watu  wanashangaa! ( until people wonder – what did you do!)
  • Indeed, it is a terrible / fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God…Hebrews 10:31

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Is the curse of God the judgement of God??

  • For living life according to its seasons…according to how I feel…the normal feelings of life?
  • …that when angry, bitter, proud or lustful…I just follow my emotions and feelings without any self control and without any regards to how it affects others!
  • …indeed producing the fruits that are not of the spirit of God but of the enemy?

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How then do I avoid being cursed ( judged ) for not producing fruit out of season?

  • Similar to one being given an impromptu end of year exam and it is just the middle of the year??
  • But also similar to a long distance race, not knowing the length of the race or where the finish line is…but one has to be ready and prepared at all times to finish the race…

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  • … It is not about running aimlessly, but running the race of salvation with the aim of taking the prize as well, that after leading others into salvation, I myself will not be disqualified…1 Corinthians 9:24-27

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  • … The times and seasons of the Lord are not known and will come suddenly like a thief in the night, like labor pains and therefore we are to remain awake, sober and vigilant in Christ, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of our hope of salvation. …1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

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  • …Like the fig tree, at times we may have a reputation of being alive (looking good on the outside), but in fact we are dead ( producing no fruit on close scrutiny).. The same issue with the Church in Sardis. We need to be complete and whole in the Word ( not picking and choosing what suits us) so that we do not risk being blotted out of the Book of Life, when the Lord suddenly comes and finds us not ready ( bearing no fruit / bearing non of His fruit to take back with Him)    …Revelation 3:1-6

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  • … I need to be conducting myself in godliness and holiness at all times, making every effort to be found at peace with God without spot or blemish, as I anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of the Lord that will come like a thief in the night. Therefore I need to stand on guard and not fall from grace ( my secure position in Christ) by being carried away by what has deceived those that continue in sin, but I should indeed grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ …2 Peter 3:10-18
  • … Avoiding the lure of complacency where we get ourselves to believe that the Lord will do nothing either good or evil, but are in deed setting ourselves up for punishment…Zephaniah 1:12
  • …But always remaining awake and clothed ( in the righteousness of Christ ) so that I will not go naked and exposed to shame ( caught off guard ) at the day of reckoning that will come unexpectedly like a thief in the night… Revelation 16:15
  • …Indeed, may I always be dressed and ready for service and keep my lamp burning so that I may encounter blessing and not cursing when the master returns unexpectedly…Luke 12:35-40
  • …That like the 5 wise virgins, I take on extra oil for my lamp as I await the coming of my bridegroom …Matthew 25:1-13
  • … that I am indeed like a faithful and wise servant that the master has put in charge of His household, to give others their food at the proper time, ready for a blessing and a reward to be given even more responsibilities in His Kingdom… Matthew 24:45-47

I therefore need to be producing fruit in and out of season – always.

  • Kumbeba  Yesu ( Carrying Christ ) at all times, in all situations without putting Him down.
  • Attached to Christ The TRUE VINE at all times so that He produces His good fruit in me…John 15
  • I need to be always fighting the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith…2 Timothy 4:7
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…not just looking good on the outside,  for others to see…
  • but nothing on the inside that can bless another … no fruit
  • It is just about me…and no concern about kingdom business
  • No one can say anything positive about me of how I have been a blessing in their life.
  • I have not added / multiplied anyone in this salvation I am enjoying
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A tree cannot eat its own fruit…indeed was not designed to eat its own fruit!
  •  It is for the benefit of another.
  • Am I a blessing to another?
  • Is my salvation withered?
  • … hasn’t helped anyone
  • … no one can see the change in me
  • … husband, wife, children, friends and relatives
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Withering and death is associated to not being a blessing to another.
  • We are to be a blessing and therefore called to be fruitful and to multiply …Genesis 1:28, Genesis 9:1
  • Fruitfulness and multiplication is in line with Christ coming to bring us life and life more abundantly as opposed to the thief that came to kill, steal and destroy ( producing in us bad fruit that causes division and destruction of the blessing or goodness of God in our lives and others)…John 10:10
  • We can only give what  we have
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We are to be known by our fruits… how?
  • We can only give what we have ( produced from the vine we are attached to )
  • You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?….Matthew 7:16 NLT

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What is this good fruit  & How is it produced in us?

  • Galatians 5:22-23 ( NLT)
  • But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

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How do I know I am producing the right kind of fruit…in and especially out of season?

Testing – is what the Lord uses to reveal what is truly in our hearts
  • Jeremiah 17:9-10
  • … the heart of man is deceitfully wicked… only the Lord can know it, searching it and rewarding according to our deeds.
  • Therefore the Lord will come unexpectedly like a thief to see if indeed the homeowner is prepared & keeping watch …Matthew 24:42-44
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We can be very good when everything is going fine in our lives
  • But the test comes when we are to produce the fruits of the spirit out of season
  • …when things are not going according to plan
  • … when I have to carry my Cross like Christ and follow Him despite the circumstances ( and not put Him down at my convenience)
  • When I have to love my spouse or child when they have done something terrible against me,
  • When I have to have joy in time of persecution in Christ,
  • When I can have peace &  patience, demonstrate kindness, goodness and self control when the situation ( the world or my flesh ) calls for the contrary with my cheating spouse, rebellious child, difficult boss, unethical or corrupt political or religious leadership!

 

  • Wacha majaribio yakuje…
  • …Pesa iko- we are blessing people, but out of our abundance. Woman who gave two coins in the temple out of her poverty ( Mark 12)
  • … Bwana ama bibi hawasumbui. Mungu asante, umenibariki sana- but like Adam,  taabu ikitokea, she becomes this woman you gave me!
  • … watoto wanafanya vyema shuleni na ni watiifu… watoto wangu  – taabu ikitokea… hawa watoto wako, wajinga kama baba / mama yao
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Am I ready, really and truly ready and vigilant ??
  • Am I worthy to be called a Christian – a true Christian at that and not a convenient so called Christian?
  • …a true Christian that is watching out for Christ (what He wants and expects in all situations )and always clothed in His Righteousness ( not removing it when it becomes inconvenient for me ) so that even when He comes unexpectedly out of season, He finds me ready and vigilant, serving His kingdom purposes and not finding me naked and exposing my shame from the deceitfulness of my heart.
  • Revelation 16:15 NLT
  • “Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”

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Can I pass the test – fire  / judgement?

  • Do I have the proper foundation in Christ, built with gold, silver and precious stones able to stand the test of fire?…1 Corinthians 3:12-15
  • Can I endure the day and stand on the day the Lord comes suddenly to His Temple, as a refiner’s fire, like a launders soap?… Malachi 3:2
  • Is my heart, described in Jeremiah 17:9 as deceitfully wicked, able to  receive praise from God when His light comes to expose its motives and reveal what is hidden in its darkness?…1 Corinthians 4:5

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Producing fruit out of season requires effort

  • …& may invoke persecution for going against the grain…
  • …but may also prove the authenticity of my faith that may result in praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Christ…1 Peter 1:7
  • … So I should consider it pure joy when I encounter trials for Christ, because the testing of my faith will produce perseverance that will mature and complete me in Christ so that I may lack nothing …James 1:2-4
  • Is that why we are urged to make every effort to labor into the rest of GodHebrews 4:10-11… 
  • …and is it the same as laboring to be at peace with God in Christ so that He can work in me and through me to produce His good pleasure, an inheritance I receive in Christ?
  • … as Psalm 2:11-12, suggesting that it is indeed wise to swerve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling, Kissing the Son (embracing Christ) lest He be angry and I perish in my rebellion when His wrath ignites in an instant ( unexpectedly).

 

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Mark 11:22-24
But by faith / imani, & prayer / maombi
  • We can come out of that difficult situation…
  • …of moving the mountains from our lives,
  • … those things that would hinder us from experiencing our salvation in Christ,
  • … enabling us to work out our salvation (bring out the fruit / goodness on my salvation ) with fear and trembling for it is God who works in me to will and to act out His good pleasure...Philippians 2:12-13
  • … basically not just being comfortable in salvation, going through the motions of life without any benefit to anyone or to kingdom business!
  • I therefore need to pray, ask, believe and receive by faith and my request shall be granted…Mark 11:24
  • That indeed I shall be fruitful and multiplying all the good things that God has graciously entrusted to me, to be a blessing to others, for His Kingdom and for His Glory.
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Summary and prayer

  • 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11

 

 

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