Proverbs 3:3-4

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write it on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Knock Knock!—Who’s There?—Banana.—Banana Who?

Knock Knock!—Who’s There?—Banana.—Banana Who?

Knock Knock!—Who’s There?—Banana.—Banana Who?

Knock Knock!—Who’s There?—Banana.—Banana Who?

Knock Knock!—Who’s There?—Orange.—Orange Who?

“Orange” you glad I didn’t say banana again?

Wha Wha Whaaaa…..

We have all heard this corny joke a million times!! And if you feel like me, its more annoying than funny! But a few nights ago, the Lord woke me up from a deep sleep with that joke in the forefront of my mind. And as I lay there wide awake, thinking “What the heck?”, He put a spiritual twist on it. Next thing I knew, I was grabbing my laptop and writing this blog post.

Many people view Christians as “holier than thou” people who use Jesus as a threat that hell will be their fate rather than portraying Him as the LOVING SAVIOR who desires to KEEP US FROM THAT FATE. They wield the Bible as a weapon rather than a love letter. A set of rules instead of practical guidelines with stories and accounts that help us get to know this amazing God who loves us. Here’s the thought. Rather than throwing THE BOOK at them, let’s try sharing THE BOOK with them through the stories of how those pages have come to life for us.

Personally, I have found in conversations with people, whether they are believers or not, they tend to get squirmy -if not down right offended- when our conversation centers around “what they need to do” to “get right with Jesus”. No matter what our intention is, it comes across as self-righteous and condemning. On the other side of this coin, if your encounter is full of natural conversation about what Jesus has done for you, they will usually listen. In some cases, people may just be tolerating you—and I’m quite sure I have been tolerated more times than not! But it doesn’t negate the power that lies within the truth of your genuine testimony about what a loving Savior has done for you. It allows space to plant a seed or melt a heart because there is no judgmental agenda driving the conversation.

We have somehow been tricked by the enemy to believe that we have the job of “saving people”. However, we are just living examples of what the power of Jesus’ love looks like when He changes our lives. It is the Holy Spirit who draws men to the Father based on the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross and the word of our testimony. People don’t need our advice—and I can assure you they don’t want it if they didn’t ask for it! But they do need to know why we love him—through not only our words but also our everyday actions. Christ dying on the cross for our sins ensured our opportunity for heaven. As believers, our testimonies are the road signs that direct others toward the path of experiencing His love and redemption for themselves.

Lisa Bevere said something that really hit home when I saw her interviewed on Home & Family on the Hallmark Channel:

“Truth without love is mean…but love without truth is a lie.”

So, please hear me when I say this: I’m not saying we should water down the gospel for ANY REASON. But I am strongly encouraging us to focus on growing our own relationship with Jesus in order that our personal stories become a sweet INTRODUCTION to the GREATEST LOVE LETTER ever written.

I want to have such a close relationship with Jesus that I never run out of things to share. I want Him to permeate every area of my life so I have more to talk about than “the banana”. Let’s not be annoying and redundant with a stale generic message of who THE KING OF THE WORLD is. Because there’s nothing redundant, boring, annoying or small about HIM—THE ONE WHO HOLDS IT ALL!

Nevertheless, here is where the rubber meets the road. We can’t give what we don’t have. If our fellowship with Jesus has been sitting on the counter too long, let’s change that. We can start by tossing out those ‘black bananas’. Let’s get into God’s Word with new passion and zeal that sweetens our conversations with the fresh aroma of something new that Jesus is teaching us. Furthermore, let’s keep our ‘fruit bowl’ full of The Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—Galatians 5:22-23). Let’s be urgent in allowing the story of the gospel to be seen in our everyday lives…but so very patient with the people we are blessed to share it with.

There is no greater gift than Jesus’ sacrificial love for us. So friend, what do you say? Next time opportunity “knocks”, let’s BE THE ORANGE!

Ephesians 4:29-32 ESV
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Colossians 1:10 ESV
“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Colossians 3:12-17 ESV
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. …”

 James 3:17
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace- loving , considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

“Orange” you glad God’s Word is so shiny?

(Sorry, I couldn’t help myself—haha)

We’re in this together!

Stay Shiny,

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