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02 December 2011

The Essentials of Effective Prayer 02 December

How did Jesus describe what it means to be a part of His kingdom?

A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ 24  “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matt 7:18-27 (ESV)

I am the fruit that Jesus talks about. Is my fruit good, or am I just going through the motions and playing the Christian game? Do I know the right words, but not put them into practice? To me, this is one of the scariest passages in the Bible. I am assured of my salvation, but every time I read it, I have to examine myself. Does God know me because I continually pray and study His Word? Am I doing His will? Do I continue to build my house on the Rock? Can I do more for Him? Am I the right kind of fruit?

What does that passage do for you? Are you sure of your salvation? If you are not, please email me, or talk to one of the Pastors. There is no more important decision you can make. Your eternity depends on it!

If you are secure in His arms, how does this passage affect you? Are you in His will? Are you reading and studying and praying?

Is there any point to prayer if you are not willing to swear allegiance to His kingdom?

And what if I blow it? I lie, or cheat, or swear, or… how do I make it right?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10 (KJV)

No wiggle room there. If I think I’m perfect, not only do I deceive myself, but I call God a liar. Yikes! I am guilty of “forgetting” to confess my sins. How about you?

This wraps up the week’s study. I hope that it gives you much to think about. I know that it has convicted me – especially in the area of confessing my sins!

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