Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Excerpt from Streams' Ministries website

      This is excerpt is from an article by John Paul Jackson posted on his Streams Ministry website.  We so often are awed by ministers and ministries that operate in signs, wonders, & miracles.  All of these are wonderful, but as John Paul points out--they are gifts, not fruit, and Jesus said we are to know those who are His by their fruit.  John Paul helps us to see how to recognize fruit in this list.  You can read the entire article here.

       Healings, miracles, signs and wonders are not fruit; they are gifts, and that being the case, what fruit are we to look for in any ministry?
  • Do the people have a greater love and concern for others than they have for themselves?
  • Do they radiate a contagious joy that others feel and take on?
  • Do they ooze a tranquil peace when life’s events do not go the way they anticipated?
  • Do they show a steadfastness or unwavering nature in the midst of long suffering, betrayal or deep disappointment?
  • Do they display gentleness with others who appear weaker or less capable?
  • Do they have an overriding goodness that seeks the wellbeing of others over their own wellbeing?
  • Do they have a faith in the unseen and the “not yet” purposes of God?
  • Do they radiate a meekness or softness, evidenced by how they handle others when they disagree with them?
  • Do they display a temperance or an ability to master their passions and desires?
       These nine points are found in Galatians 5 and are noted as fruit of the Spirit. All deeply spiritual people will have fruit that is spiritual. Why? Because thorns produce thorns and grapes produce grapes. That which is Spirit will always have spiritual fruit.
       There must be a change in the moral fiber of the Church, because the culture is not to blame for the condition of the Church, but the Church is to blame for the condition of the culture. When the Church actually begins to behave like the Body of Christ, we will see the fruit of that — not only in our pastors and ministers but also in our judicial systems and in our politicians. In other words, the culture will reflect the Church’s passion for Jesus.

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