Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What Changed?

My dish for this Thursday night is salad. What I have in mind is a seven layer salad similar to the one in this photo (though I prefer to have the green onions under the dressing, and I don’t use cheese.  Click on the photo to see my comments on this traditional salad.)

To make it, I’m going to the market and select the ingredients.  I’ll check the head of iceberg lettuce not only for size, but freshness. I’ll look for baby spinach leaves, tender and small. The celery will be as dark as I can find, plump and not dried out. A change from my usual green-only, I’ll look for radishes that have a deep red, and the smallest cherry tomatoes I can find to show Christmas reds and greens.

I will not make judgments concerning how or where the veggies were grown, but I will make a determination if they fit the requirements I’ve set for presentation to people I like. 

I make similar selections in regard to people I bring into my home, introduce to my circle of friends and most definitely build into lasting relationships.

Sunday our pastor’s sermon was on the expected changes after a person gives their life to Christ.  No change, nothing gained. Not a judgmental attitude, but a fruit inspection.

Paul wrote of his own background, his curriculum vitae. Elsewhere he mentions his training under Gamaliel in Jerusalem while here he gives the essentials:

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:4-6 KJV)

He was not a Levite, not born to serve as priest, but chose the life of a Pharisee, studied hard, kept the law and took pride in doing so.  After his conversion experience, that CV was important only in explaining the change in his life:

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (Philippians 3:8 KJV)

Jesus spoke of false prophets, but I believe one professing a belief in Christ yet continuing a life without change is false, too:

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (Matthew 7:17-18 KJV)

Most of us won’t be called to give up everything as Paul did, but we should be able to if called to do so.  The change in a person’s life upon becoming a Christian should be evident to those around them. There should be good fruit, and the Bible certainly gives examples of very good fruit.

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