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A Little Fruity

Daily Reading: Matthew 7

Scripture Focus: You will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7.20)

Devotional Thought: "You can't judge me. You don't know my heart." Have you ever heard that?

It's not entirely true. We can know a good deal about people by observing their actions. Or, as Jesus said, "You will recognize them by their fruits."

· Many people can make their case. They can say the right words, but words are probably the least reliable indicator of their hearts.

· We also cannot judge people by the face they put on. It is too easy to put on a mask. We can sustain an aura of spirituality for brief periods. Jesus had a name for people who wore masks, however: hypocrites.

· Nor can we know people by their race. People may feel that they have special privileges, and deserve special treatment because they have a special status. Jesus was never impressed with people's pedigrees!

· We can't judge others by their place. Many people elevate their own importance. Jesus advised us to "take the lowest place."

· We cannot judge others by their intentions, by what they chase. As a child, I often told my mother, "I was going to..." She very lovingly reminded me that the road to loss is paved with good intentions. We need to be doers of the Word!

Not only can we know others by their fruit, but we can know ourselves by our fruit. Paul said, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or, do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" This is more than introspection. He was urging us to be objective - to see what kind of fruit our faith is producing.

Does your fruit pass inspection?

Prayer: Lord, Lord... I don't want to just talk about the Kingdom of God. I want to be in - fully in - the Kingdom. Help me to produce the fruit of the Kingdom. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 89.5-13

5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,

your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!

6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?

Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,

7 a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,

and awesome above all who are around him?

8 O Lord God of hosts,

who is mighty as you are, O Lord,

with your faithfulness all around you?

9 You rule the raging of the sea;

when its waves rise, you still them.

10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass;

you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

11 The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;

the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.

12 The north and the south, you have created them;

Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.

13 You have a mighty arm;

strong is your hand, high your right hand.

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