BY THEIR FRUITS YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THEM
Matthew 7:16-18 “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”
Goodness and faithfulness were obvious fruits of the spirit that were always seen in Mrs. Dola. After she had raised ten children, she took in the five children of her dead sister.
I always bought my charcoal for cooking from Mrs. Dola because she earned her living by preparing and selling it.
One day she took the money I had paid her and arranged the coins in neat little piles before her. She patiently explained to me that one little pile equal to 20 cents was money she owed me for her pills. Another little pile of 10 cents was money she owed for her son’s medicine.
I never kept a record of such small amounts and forgot about them. If I sold a woman medicine for 50 cents and she had only 30 cents, I said it was fine and gave her the treatment.
Mrs. Dola remembered every cent and was determined to pay them. And then she gave me a gift of 40 cents for being her very best customer.
Mrs. Dola was incapable of bearing bad fruit. Because the good fruits ripened constantly in her life.
WATCH OUT FOR FALSE PROPHETS
Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
How does one tell a false prophet from a true disciple of Christ and how does one tell the difference between a sheep and a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing?
True prophets are devoted to the Lord God and honor Jesus Christ. They believe both the Old and New Testaments are the fully inspired Word of God and are committed to it. They hate wickedness and cry out against sin.
They seek to save the lost by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They encourage believers to obey God’s teachings. They pray to the Lord and in the name of Jesus. They display the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Watch out for false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Jesus give us the wisdom to recognize a false prophets.
ENTER THROUGH THE NARROW GATE
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
The narrow paths in Africa are much harder to walk on than the wide ones are.
There the most traveled foot paths are made for convenience. Lots of people march on the popular trails. The constant footsteps of so many villagers widen and smooth out the trail. It stays free of weeds and grasses.
The narrow paths, not used by the masses, were always more difficult to hike on because they were full of potholes, hills, and weeds. Sometimes we had to stop and push aside overhanging branches or tall elephant grass.
It’s the same with God’s Kingdom. That narrow path and gate to God is more difficult to hike than walking on that well-tramped, wide trail that the masses use.
Lord, keep us on that narrow path leading to eternal life in Heaven.