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What’s the Difference?

Erich recently wrote about simple church, and I would like to share more about it since I feel like I’m finally getting it. I have been seeing so much outward fruit recently, and some people ask, “what did you do that made a difference? What’s the secret?

And I want to stress that there’s nothing special that we are doing. We are not “high” on the Holy spirit; we are not getting super visions from the Lord; and we haven’t suddenly received special anointing or gifts. I’m just a same person that you have always known. Also, I’m just talking about increased, obvious fruit that I started to see and not other fruitfulness that naturally flows out by living in Christ. I’m just speaking from my experience from the past months.

The only difference is that we began obeying. When we read the scripture, we pray to God to show us how we can obey the scripture.

That’s pretty much it.

For instance, our group got together and read Acts 4:32-37 together. It was about believers sharing their possessions.

Everyone felt that the scripture was about giving and sharing with those who are in need because what we have are not our own but all is from the Lord. After discussing what we like/have questions about, what we can learn about human nature and God’s nature, we prayed how we can obey the scripture.

In prayer,  some felt to reach out to a friend whom he hasn’t talked to in a while. Some heard from the holy spirit to offer financial help to a particular person in need. Some was shown to offer her time and friendship to a specific person who was looking for friends. Another person felt the need to organize finance for better offering at church.

And then we immediately obeyed.

There was no putting it off–no saying “that was a good learning. I should give when there’s a chance” or “if I happen to see him/her…,” or “if he brings up the topic…”

But we obeyed and went after what we heard from the Lord that week. And the result? The fruit!

People in need felt loved and blessed because a person in Christ obeyed what he or she read in the Bible and heard from God. We just worked with the Lord to love and help someone. And it happened because of intentional obedience.

Some tried reaching out to the person but there was no response, but even then, there was internal fruit from acting by obedience, courage, and stepping out in faith — there was growth in spiritual maturity.

The Harvest is Plentiful

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.”

– Luke 10:2

What I realized is the harvest is already there. We just have to do the work.

I witnessed someone physically get healed through Jesus recently, only because I took the action of praying for that person! All glory to Jesus!

This isn’t a new idea. This isn’t something special. It’s such a simple concept. I encourage you to practice radical obedience to Jesus – I promise you there’s so much fruit! God is so so good.

Of course there are times when fruit isn’t immediately apparent. We may be turned down or rejected because of our obedience to the scripture and the Lord. (But so what? Shouldn’t we fear the Lord more?) Christianity is sometimes illogical to those who don’t know Jesus yet. But Jesus died for us and took away our sin when we didn’t even know that we were sinners. Jesus gave it all for us. He exchanged everything so that we can be free of sin and be made right with our heavenly father, to share in His righteousness and love, so that we can praise our God! So don’t be afraid – I know it’s scary at first to act radically. I struggled with fear of men in the beginning. But the Lord is so faithful – He will never call you to do anything that you are not equipped to do!

Love = Obedience

The Bible tells us to love Jesus, which also means to obey what He commands us to do. I sometimes hear people say, “oh, I can’t give testimony, evangelism is not for me” “I’m not good at praying, I can’t pray for someone in person,” or “I can’t tell people about Jesus, I’m not qualified.” It saddens me to hear those lies from the enemy preventing people from doing what Jesus told us, his disciples, to do. It’s not only “professional” ministers to do the preaching, evangelism, teaching, prophecy, and apostolic work. Of course, I respect and honor those who are in professional ministry. But it’s also for all of us siblings in Christ to do. Loving Jesus doesn’t mean just saying you love Him. It requires action. The Bible tells us so in the Gospel of John:

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and He will be in you.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. In a little while, the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.”

John 14:15-21

I understand that it’s hard to do something you haven’t done before. But with practice, yes, you totally can! You have everything you need in Christ (Eph.1). You have the Holy Spirit with you to guide you. I just want to encourage you to ask the Lord for direction and just do it. Our heavenly father is so amazing! Let’s give back His glory by obeying the scripture and the Lord. All glory to JESUS.

この記事を ja日本語で読めます。