“15 Now you Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the Gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but you only.
16 For even in Thessalonica you sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” Philippians 4:15-17
You will know them by their fruit; the fruit which abounds to their account.
Many professing Crossing preaching churches no longer communicate with those who the Lord has used to bring forth the Message of the Cross concerning their giving and receiving. They have neglected the work of Paul and the fruit which abounds is sectarian, legalistic Christians with no love in their heart for the harvest but a belly full of bitterness for the Brethren.
Quite frankly, if they understood the Message of the Cross they would be sure to tend to the work which is bringing this message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified to a lost world and a dying church. This message is life to us who are Saved…it is the breath which we breathe and want others to know.
Granted, you may not speak openly ‘against’ said ministry but your flock is full of those who do and they are your fruit.
“18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:18-20
Beware of the tares. Discern the fruit. The understanding of the Cross of Christ for daily living for God does not bring forth bitterness. That bitterness is just what the Holy Spirit desires to remove but it is the root of the ministry; a root that is held tightly by those whose heart is hardening toward the preaching of the Cross of Christ.
I do not say these things to be ugly but we all need to search our heart. The Apostle Paul said to follow me as I follow Jesus. There were those who were against Paul’s teachings and sought to align themselves with like minded believers in order to gain strength. You will know a ministry by their fruit and we best better judge such fruit lest a root of bitterness take hold in our own hearts.
“14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
15 For though you have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have you not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be you followers of me.
17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.” 1 Cor. 4:14-17
The Message of the Cross will change the heart of man if we seek the understanding necessary and humble ourselves before the Lord. The Holy Spirit wants to remove those dead branches and cut right to the root of the bitterness but we must look to Jesus Christ and His finished work to see the condition of our own heart.
-Donna Clark Warren

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