Morning
February 12

Exodus 19:4-6 (NIV) 4'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'


Redeemed from the oppression of slavery; now what? Now obey, and you wont go back into slavery. As a people free from the things that enslave the world, they can be priests to the world. That was God's intention. He wasn't just building a little social club. Instead of becoming inwardly focused on themselves, they were placed on the trade routes of the world to be an example of what a nation led by God looked like.

God was about to give them the Ten Commandments. First He asked if they wanted to accept the call. Then He instructed them, through the Law, how to be that example the world needed to see. If they could live that way, they would be priests to the world. In the days of Joshua and some of the reign of David, that was true of them. David's conquest of Israel's neighbors brought the influence of the Law to the surrounding nations.

You have been redeemed from slavery too. It is not just to hang out in your church social group. It is to affect the world around you. Though you are not under the Law as your guide, you have a more intimate Instructor, the Holy Spirit. If you have dedicated yourself to being the LORD's vessel in every area of life, you will need His constant instruction to be the example the world needs. You become a priest to those your life comes in contact with, directing them to the Word of God and showing them an eternal perspective (1 Peter 2:5). You are an heir of this promise through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Consider: Obey Him fully. The world around you needs the loving influence of the priests of God.


Evening
February 12

Matthew 7:15-16 (NIV) 15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?


Jesus taught us to watch out for false prophets. Many people claim to have a message from God. Outwardly it is hard to spot them. The 'sheep's clothing' often causes us to think they are one of God's children. But the outside and the inside are totally different. For most people, the person who rants and raves and condemns everyone is easily spotted as being off track, but what about these that appear to be gentle and meek? How are we supposed to spot them?

One way to identify a plant is by the leaf, but even then it is easy to make a mistake. Many leaves are similar. The easiest way is to see the plant's fruit. What does the plant produce? That tells you what kind of plant it is. What is the fruit of the life of the person you are wondering about? Is their home full of peace and love? Are their followers loving and kind? Does their teaching humble the listener or make them proud about having some secret wisdom? A false teacher can imitate the gifts of the Spirit, but they cannot for long imitate the fruit of the Spirit. Watch them when they are not in front of their audience. See them when they think no one else is watching, and you will soon know what kind of tree they are.

The same is true for us. Do you know what kind of tree you are? What would an unbiased observer of your life conclude? Would they say you are a grapevine or a thornbush, a fig tree or thistle? Sometimes we believe we are something we are not. Look at your fruit, and be honest with what your fruit really is. That is the first step toward the transformation that the life of Christ in you will produce.

Remember: Become His fruit and you will bear His fruit.