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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

God Does Not Bluff

Silk Apple Blossoms

God Does Not Bluff

"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead... He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." ' "
~ Revelation 3:1,5 (NKJV)

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
~ James 2:14 (NIV)

There are some realistic-looking plants which look nice and require no attention. They also bear no fruit, fragrance, or even life.

Jesus walks, sees and works in the spiritual realms of angels (stars) and Spirit. He looks beyond outward appearances to the heart. There is no exuberant praise, no eloquent prayer, no abundance of works which can adequately cover for dead faith which lacks spiritual fruit.

I don't pretend to fully understand what the Lord Jesus means when He says, “I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.” But I cannot think He speaks in only hypothetical terms. God does not bluff. His Word is to be considered with upmost regard.

There are too many places in the New Testament which speak of spiritual loss** to not at least entertain the notion that a person’s name might actually be recorded in the Book of Life and then be blotted out because spiritual life has not been cultivated.

What is certain is that “Christian” is not just a name for good reputation among people, but an identity established by life in Christ, so that He confesses our names before His Father and angels.

Father in Heaven, please let us revere You, Your Word, and the spiritual life You give. Please let us not be content to appear good, or to imply to other believers that it is sufficient to claim faith without spiritual life and fruit. Please guard us from hypocrisy. Please reveal truth to us.

** Other passages which refer to being cut off from God or loss of spiritual life include:
Luke 8:13
Hebrews 10:29
Hebrews 6:4-6
2 Peter 2:20-21
John 15:2
Matthew 22:11-14
Revelation 3:16
1 Timothy 5:12
Romans 11:22

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Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. I want to bear spiritual fruit Father, let me be real.

  2. About that Book of Life. I'm curious to know what God uses to write. I pray I get to see someday.
    ~ Wendy

  3. I know it's part of my personality, but why do we want to commit our lives to God then only halfway follow Him? I fail a lot, but I am constantly being changed and I seek that change out. It only comes through more grace--more of Him, less of me. I want real fruit.

    Thanks Anne.

  4. Denise ~

    Lord, thank You for the love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that spills all over Denise. Please help us to produce Your fruit in abundance.

  5. Wendy ~

    Okay, I'll go WAY out on a limb here.

    The only covenant I know of that the Lord put in writing was the one with Noah, written upon the sky. So I'm guessing rainbow ink.

  6. Jason ~

    For me, the distractions are a killer. Pride, fear (I hate to admit that one), and lust (for all kinds of things) get in the way, too.

    If it's any comfort, the older I get, the more I grow spiritually and the more I know about the Lord—and the more sin I recognize in my life, so the worse a sinner I feel like.

    The fact that you recognize the problem probably means you've been faithful to work on it. If you're like the rest of us, you know full well you can do better. I pray that we keep heading back to Jesus' side as soon as we catch our eyes or hearts or minds wandering.

  7. Bud ~

    There's taking away of the branches which don't bear fruit, and there's pruning of the ones which do. I'll take pruning any day, as brutally painful as that is.

  8. Sometimes, we Christians can get into a casual lifestyle and we lay down the breastplate of righteousness and the sword of Truth.

    I'm picking them up again. There is not going to be a second chance to call God's bluff on judgement day. Because God doesn't bluff.

    Good writing!

  9. Duane ~

    Stay connected to the Word, the Spirit, your sisters and brothers in Christ. None of us can go it alone.


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