Posted by Johnny Richards

I knew it was going to happen sometime. Last Tuesday was the time it happened. One of the groups that meets at the church had arrived and the security code didn’t work. I was asked to come to the church to make sure everything was ok, which it was. While at the church, it was pretty obvious my attire of t-shirt, shorts and tennis shoes was not enough to convince the police officer I was the pastor of the church. After about 20 minutes, and a trip to the church office to show him the newsletter with my name on it, he was convinced and I headed home. It has been a fun story to share with church members and also a reminder to get business cards.

I do have to question myself about how he was supposed to know I was the pastor? I was not wearing a suit. He had not been to our church to recognize me. In all honesty, he did a great job making sure things were ok, with me and the group at the church. It wasn’t his fault I did not appear to be a preacher, much less the pastor.

Thinking about this experience has caused me to question my Christian life and ask if I am doing things that would allow others see Christ in me and know I am a Christian. Can people tell if I am a follower of Christ? The Bible tells us there is a way people we know. Matthew 7:20-21 says this: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in Heaven.” In these two verses we find a way to help others see we are followers of Christ. “By their fruits you will know.” So what are the fruits?

The fruits that are shown are evidence that having a relationship has made a change in our lives. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us the fruits of the Spirit are love; joy; peace; forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness; gentleness and self-control. When we are able to show others that these characteristics are a part of who we are, then they will recognize, and know, we are Christians. But how difficult is it to show these fruits? It is very difficult. It is almost, if not, impossible to have these characteristics on our own. That is why they are called the fruits of the Spirit. It is only when we have a relationship with Christ, and the Holy Spirit lives within us, that we can show these fruits. When we try to live these out on our own, we will fall short. We will not live up to the standard of Christ. However, when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us, then Jesus Christ, and these fruits, will be seen by those around us.

Until next week…

Peace and Blessings…  Johnny