faith+deeds, deeds-fruit.

January 25, 2012

again, it has been forever since last time i blogged. bah. it is tough to blog or get my thoughts together. more importantly, it has been hard for me to stay truly convicted for the past weeks. no convictions – no post. i thought it will be a new year and then i will have a new heart, a new holy life, a new mind to live all for the riches of God’s glory. but no, that’s not the case. i wish things always turn out the way i want them to be.

but during these past weeks through weaknesses and struggling, what i have been learning is faith with deeds, and deeds without the Spirit. it is hard to learn some truth about yourself, and even harder to make changes for the better. James 2:17-18 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
it’s right there. having faith is importantly followed by good deeds. and it’s very important to have the Spirit on those deeds as well. those faith and deeds can only come from the Holy Spirit as i fight my heart.

when i fight my heart – i think of the past things like what i accomplished, how i met God, the way i was blessed, the right path i walked, the missions field that i went, the verses i memorized, the many times i shared the Gospel, the faith i had, etc. it just wasn’t enough to keep me through the day though. it is not really about how ‘i’ was in the past, but the present blessing and mercy that i receive from God. it’s the new strength/faith that i am receiving as the new day comes, the Promise that He has for me. the new day that i have a chance to repent and live for Him.
I usually turn to my past. the sins in the past and the blessings in the past. it’s not that they are bad things, but the reason why i go to them is not great…. but it is so true about the Word in Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” I need to press on toward His love to live for the fullest of His glory.

living the fullest for His glory – i don’t know about this very well either. it is so much easier to say than to actually do it. my new resolution for the new year is to give my 100% to the Lord in anything i do because He is too holy to have anything less than what i could ever offer. when i spend my time with my sister, i want to focus 100% on her and fill her with love. when i watch/play a basketball game, i want to watch/play it with all joy and praise God for the game. when i hang out with someone, i want to invest everything so that they can experience God’s love. if faith without deeds is dead, i want my deeds to be 100% to show my faith.

i hope this is the right way when Colossians 3:23-24 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” but then, the question is when i study, i don’t ever feel like i give 100% although it might seem as i am doing it in the week before the exam. it needs some consistency in my life. the moment i live there gotta give it all. this means no nothing else when i am studying. sigh, i can get distracted so easily when i study and such. the past exams have been so hard, and i keep questioning myself whether i am just dumb or not giving 100%. i must admit, it’s a little of both i think. i can get so defeated during the week of the exam and now i can see why people can do spiritual poorly when they go to professional schools. this ain’t easy. it can get so hard to make changes without compromising your time with the Lord even if you know that He is the reason you are going to school for. when we comprise with our time with the Lord, there comes the lack of the fruit of the Spirit.

the fruit of the Spirit – when people say that you can tell someone by the fruits that they produce. i always think it of as the number/kind of people that they minister or reach out to or just usually what people do. but that’s like the fruit, of the fruits of the Spirit. I always forget that Galatians 5:22-23a But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. these things are like WITHIN us. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, apart from Him, we can do nothing. When we lack of Him, how can we live for Him? so non-sense. i could try to serve someone without the fruit of the Spirit, but then i will not find joy and love in it. i could share the good news to someone without the fruit, but there will not be patience, kindness, goodness in it. that is just a disaster. there is no power. there is no substance. it is just wicked. i am sure God can use whatever we do even without the fruit in us to be fruitful, but will we ever gonna experience the joy of that fruitfulness?

As Christians, that’s the thing that separates us from the rest of the world, and as we comprise our times with the Holy Spirit, we go further and further like the fig tree that doesn’t bear fruit. one of the fruits that i want to bear this year is peace. as this semester getting harder and harder, most of the times i find myself not being able to feel that peace. even if i do well in school or with people, they really are not sufficient enough to bring peace unto me. when there is no real relationship with the Holy Spirit, the very peace of God that transcends all understanding *puffs* gone. again, what makes us different from everyone else? man, that gotta be the peace that says “no matter what son, I love you”. the peace that promises that God is in control in any situation. the peace that can make the dry bones come alive again in Ezekiel 37:5b-6 “I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.” the peace that loves, forgives, restores, sanctifies, and glorifies.

phew, that was pretty long. but i definitely gotta make some changes in my life especially to experience the fruit of the Spirit and to give my Lord the 100% He deserves. this gonna mean worshipping God in everything i do. man, i have failed so many times that i don’t have time to look back but to move forward. this verse can sum up whatever i wrote:

Hebrews 13:20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing in Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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