Message for february 18: Let Me See Your Fruit

Blessings to you, family and friends of Bartimaeus Baptist Temple.  Here’s this week’s update.

Out of an abundance of caution because of the extra problems people may encounter getting to church, to keep everyone safe, we decided to cancel services last Sunday under threat of icy conditions.  It proved a non-event, but we’d rather miss a Sunday than see someone get hurt.  I am sorry that I didn’t post any notice about it.  I hope no one showed up to an empty parking lot.  We’re looking forward to seeing you this Sunday.

When I get ready to prepare a message, One of the first things I do is ask God what He wants me to say.  Even if I am totally clueless like I was this week about what I might like to talk about, He always brings me something and before I know it I’m excited about the message.

I started thinking about the primaries coming up next month.  We’ve already been subjected to a barrage of political advertising telling us why the candidate is the best choice and what’s wrong with the opposition.  How do you know what to believe?

That question isn’t limited to politics.  We have so many denominations in part because every little detail of Christian theology has been magnified by some group or other into a pivotal issue that defines who is really Christian or at least faithful and who is not.

Please understand, I believe the truth is knowable and cannot be disputed once established, but I do not suppose that I or anyone else on this earth knows all of it.  Only God is that smart.  He defines what truth is.  We’ll always have disagreements, and probably one of us is right or maybe all of us are wrong. But Jesus did give us a way to help determine who is telling the truth.  It works on profits, preachers, and politicians too!

He said they will be known by their fruit.  Is what they say demonstrably true or false?  Do their words stir up strife or bring peace? Do they inspire good works?  When the spotlights are off, are they the same person?  What about our own lives?  Are we producing good fruit, no fruit, or rotten fruit?  By what measure do we judge it?  We will start reading in Matthew 7:15-20 and explore the scripture to answer these questions.

So many people have been sick the past few weeks.  Please keep them in your prayers.  Hopefully this week everyone is better and we can all get back together.  Please come and worship with us.


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