Monthly Archives: May 2013

It’s All About the Soil

In Mark 4:3-8 (NLT) Jesus tells of a farmer who went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on the path which the birds came and ate. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow, but the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted. In verses 14-20 Jesus explains the meaning of the story to his disciples.

Most of you have heard this story… this parable, before. And you have probably read or heard the explanation of the parable. It is usually intended to show the different types of people who hear the Word of God in respect to salvation. However, there is a very clear message in here for believers as well; particularly believers who are struggling in some area of life.

Jesus begins his explanation, “The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them” (Mark 4:14,15).

Have you ever been robbed? Have you ever read a Scripture that seemed to jump out at you or heard a sermon that ministered to you. You were inspired, encouraged, hopeful and then you began thinking of all the things you’ve done wrong. You remember your failures, your blatant sin, your open rebellion against what you knew was right and your hope began to fade. You felt unworthy of any of the blessings God has promised even though you have confessed it to God and repented and you know His Word promises that if you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Revelation 12:10 calls satan the accuser of the brethren. His sole purpose is to destroy you which is why he continually hurls accusations and lies to distract you and keep you from understanding just who you really are. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says you are the righteousness of God in Him [Jesus]. Romans 8:17 says you are a child of God and therefore an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. The point is not the benefits of being an heir. The point is the extent of the love of God for you that He would make you His son or daughter. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Satan can accuse you all he wants, but his hot air has no bearing at all on how God sees you.

So back to Jesus’ explanation of the parable. “Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away” (Mark 4:16,17).

It’s easy to fold when we focus on our circumstances. It’s even easier when that’s all we know. In Psalm 119:11 the psalmist writes, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” How much of the Word have you planted on the inside? It’s one thing to go to church and hear a message that moves you, but receiving it and holding on to it are two different things. If the Word is not planted firmly on the inside you will never have the strength to withstand when temptations or trials come at you from the outside. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” The road of life is difficult enough without trying to navigate it in the dark.

Jesus next tells of the seed sown among thorns, “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4:18,19).

So let’s say you have been in the Word. You are learning and growing, but there are things in your life that you just aren’t ready to give up. In Titus 2:11-12 Paul writes, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” There comes a time when you are confronted with the reality of your choices. Will you accept the Word which says your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19,20) or will you disregard what God is saying and pursue the things that seem pleasing to you? Remember, your choices have consequences and it is often those choices that choke the Word and make it unfruitful in your life.

Finally Jesus explains the fourth type of seed, “Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown” (Mark 4:11).

Notice in all four instances, the focus is not on the seed, the focus is on the soil. And here’s where I get excited. Read with me Jesus’ parable in Mark 4:26-29.

“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

Remember, the seed is the Word. When planted in the heart it will sprout and grow. All by itself it will produce fruit. Or put another way, by renewing your mind on the Word of God, you are transformed (Romans 12:2). Are you struggling with some issue in your life? Perhaps you recognize yourself in the parable of the sower. Are your roots shallow? Do you find yourself caught up in the circumstances of life? Are you finding it hard to surrender certain habits or pleasures? Has the devil lied to you and kept you from believing that you can change? Mark 4:26-29 says that the Word WILL sprout and grow. You WILL see change if you will just commit yourself to the Word. There are no formulas to follow. The Word will produce fruit and just like the man scattering the seed you may not even know how.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

You will never change on the outside until you first begin to change on the inside. Let the seed of the Word do what it was intended to do… conform you to the image of the one who loves you and gave His life for you. Remember, it’s all about the soil.

For more information contact us at info@fruitbearers.com.

Fruitbearers Outreach Ministry

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A Letter of Encouragement

This week we would like to share a letter of encouragement from Joseph Prince.

Over the years, as I ministered and taught on the subject of faith, the Lord has opened my eyes to why many Christians do not receive the breakthroughs they desire.

Many are not speaking out what they believe about God’s Word, but are instead speaking out what they see, feel and experience in their circumstances. Then, there are others who just suffer in silence—literally. They don’t say anything—good or bad—because they have resigned themselves to their negative situations.

Speak what you believe about God’s Word and believe what you speak.

God has actually made it easy to receive your breakthrough. Jesus tells us in Mark 11:23, “Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

Do you notice that in this one verse, Jesus used the word “says” three times and “believe” only once? I think right there He is showing us the key to receiving by faith!

Many of you may believe the right things about God’s Word, but are you saying them? Jesus’ point in the verse above is to speak out what you believe. Because when you speak, you are putting your faith in action. That is how faith operates.

God wants us to walk by faith and not by sight. He demonstrated this right from the beginning when He called things that did not exist in the natural as though they existed. So when God saw the darkness, He said, “Light, be!” and light was.

You are made in God’s image, and He has given you the ability to speak as He speaks. Whatever you need, see His provision and speak it forth in faith!

God has already provided whatever you need.

So what are you believing for today? A healthy body? A financial breakthrough? A restored marriage? A baby? Whatever it is, I want you to know that the provision is already there.

God is a good God, One Who is constantly supplying grace, health, protection, deliverance and whatever you need in life because of Jesus’ finished work.

At the cross, Jesus’ body was broken so that yours may be whole and healthy; He was made poor so that you can be well provided for; He was separated from His loved ones so that you may have happy, fruitful relationships; and He was shunned and despised so that today, you may be highly favored!

Jesus has accomplished everything for you.. All you need to do now is to believe all that He has achieved for you, speak in faith and receive.

My friend, understand that when you speak, either good or bad, you give life to whatever you are saying. God’s Word tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and that he who loves life and wants to see good days should refrain from speaking evil (1 Peter 3:10).

God has given you the power to change your circumstances, and that power lies in your mouth. So choose life by speaking positively and in line with God’s promises for you.

Stating the obvious won’t change anything and will only make you more fearful. Speaking the good that you want to see, on the other hand, gives you hope, builds faith and changes things for the better as God’s power is released.

Command the blessings today!

Start by believing that God wants you to have an abundance of every good thing and a life filled with good days. As you begin your day, learn to say, “In the name of Jesus, I command blessings, favor, health, provision, protection, dominion and power to fill my life today!”

Instead of focusing on the lack that you see, say, “God’s Word tells me that my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). I declare that I am greatly blessed and provided for. Poverty and lack have no place in my life!”

If you’ve received a bad report from your doctor, instead of speaking sickness and death, say, “Jesus died young so that I can live long. He was scourged and His body broken so that mine can be whole. God’s Word declares that no evil shall befall me and my loved ones, now and in the future!” (Psalm 91:10).

And if you find yourself fearful for your children, I encourage you to say, “God’s Word declares that the seed of the righteous shall be delivered (Proverbs 11:21). Therefore, my children are delivered from every curse, every power of darkness and every evil. In the name of Jesus, I call forth a great, bright and blessed future for my children!”

Beloved, believe God’s Word, speak it and you shall see it!

It is my heart’s prayer that you will rest in the complete, perfect work of Jesus today. Because of Jesus, you are healthy, favored, prosperous, fruitful, accepted, approved of and dearly loved!

This is God’s reality. Let it be your reality too. Not next week, next month, or next year. See yourself as your heavenly Father sees you, and speak His language of faith. Start receiving His blessings by faith today!

Remember, you don’t have to strive and strain. Faith isn’t about working to gain God’s approval. Faith is simply seeing and believing how good God is and receiving all that Jesus died to give you.

“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Mark 11:23 (NKJV).

Fruitbearers Outreach Ministry

What does faith look like?

What does faith look like? Faith is believing that all we need has already been provided. Faith has no bearing on what our circumstances seem to be telling us. Faith has everything to do with what God has already done in the Spirit. Remember, Hebrews 12:2 says Jesus is not only the author of our faith, but the perfector. The King James version says He is the author and finisher of our faith. Whatever your need, it is finished.

How much easier life would be if we would just learn to walk in the freedom Christ died to give us. How much more victorious life would be if we would begin to live each day by faith. Not sure where to begin?  Email us at info@fruitbearers.com and let us help you find your pathway to freedom.

“This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” I John 5:4

Fruitbearers Outreach Ministry

Thermometer or Thermostat

METAMORPHOSIS – Change of form or shape; transformation; particularly, a change in the form of being; as the metamorphosis of an insect from the aurelia or chrysalis state into a winged animal.

Whenever I think of metamorphosis I think of a butterfly; or actually I think of a hairy, fur ball of a caterpillar that spins itself into a cocoon and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.  The interesting thing is the caterpillar’s DNA did not change in order for it to turn into a butterfly.  The DNA was already there.  The caterpillar just became what it already was.

As believers, our spirit’s rebirth is immediate.  We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The rebirth of our soul on the other hand is a process.  We are being changed from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).

So why is it that the process of change seems to go on forever.  Why is it that we continually struggle.  We make a little progress and then something happens and it’s like someone pulled the rug out from under us.  Caterpillars don’t have this problem.

The truth is, caterpillars don’t stress over becoming a butterfly.  They simply begin the process and by a natural progression the caterpillar becomes what the blueprint inside declared it would be – a butterfly.  It’s the same with us.  Our spirit is reborn, the process of transformation has begun.  The DNA is there.  Now we just need to let the metamorphosis occur and become who we already are.

It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it.  And yet we make it so hard.  God has called us to be transformed so that we can be a light to those around us.  God has called us to be thermostats and yet most of us are thermometers.

A thermometer reacts to its environment.  It reflects the circumstances around it just as we often do.  A thermostat, however, sets the environment.  It doesn’t care what the circumstances say because it has the power to change the circumstances.

Once we become on the outside who we already are on the inside we will stop reacting to our environment – to our circumstances – and begin controlling the environment around us for the glory of God.

A caterpillar inches along the ground making little progress because of the limitations of who he is on the outside.  The butterfly soars to new heights with very few limitations because he has been transformed into the new creation who he already was on the inside.

I challenge you to stop stressing over how to change and allow the process to unfold naturally by allowing the Word of God to do it’s metamorphosis in you.  You can begin by contacting us at Info@fruitbearers.com.

Fruitbearers Outreach Ministry

Do Feelings Matter?

Have you ever noticed how we greet each other?  We usually ask something along the lines of, “How’s it going?” or “How are you?”  We then respond with something that conveys how we are feeling.  Why is that?  Why is it that pretty much everything we say or do is based on how we feel at the time?

Even our choices are generally based on how we feel.  For example we feel tired so we stay home from church or we feel a cold coming on so we stay home from work.  We don’t feel like going shopping, we feel sore from working in the lawn, we feel sad, angry, frustrated, and on it goes.  More often than not, feelings control the choices we make.

Often times we make choices that we know are wrong or at best questionable, but it’s how we feel at the time.  In those instances we may even justify our actions in order to make us feel better about our choices.  For example, “It’s supposed to be really cold today and maybe even snow.  I think I’ll stay in today.”  Or, “It’s only a few drinks.  I can drive myself home.”  Or maybe, “I know that video that someone emailed me was inappropriate, but it was kind of funny.”

You can easily make your own list of choices based on feelings.  We all make them every single day.  Unfortunately we often make choices and entertain thoughts and actions that are not in line with what God would have us do and yet we continue to make them.

Learning to live our lives based on God’s will rather than our feelings is no small task. Everywhere we turn we are confronted with feelings.  We not only have our own feelings to contend with, but everyone we come in contact with has their own set of feelings and attitudes. There may even be a sense, or a feeling, that one cannot possibly live without being directed by feelings and emotions.

I believe to a large extent we base our choices on how we feel because we don’t know how to believe God.  We have all been guilty of letting our feelings guide our actions, but it can be different.  It is a process and it will not happen overnight, but as we commit to spend time in God’s Word and listen to what He is saying to us, things will begin to change.

Romans 12:2 (CEV) says, “Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.”

Other translations tell us to be transformed by renewing our minds and the way to do that is by getting into the Word.  You will still have feelings, but there will come a point where you begin to understand that feelings are not what defines you.  His Word defines you and gives life a whole new perspective.  Feelings don’t have to control you, but as with everything else in life, it starts with a choice.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

The choice to begin lies with you.  Are you ready?  Contact us at Info@fruitbearers.com and let us show you how to be who God says you are regardless of how you feel.

Fruitbearers Outreach Ministry