The Ultimate Fruit Audit Test – Take Your’s Now!

Answer the following questions and look up the associated verses to determine if you are a follower of Jesus or just a really big fan.

Who You Are
Audit #1: Is your character in keeping with the Fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23
Audit #2: Do you Walk by the Spirit? Galatians 5:16-26
Audit #3: Do you Actively “Make Disciples”? Matthew 28:19
Audit #4: Do you Love God with all that you are? Matthew 22:38-38

God’s Law
Audit #5: Do You Crave the Word of God? 1 Peter 2:2-3. Romans 7:22, John 8:47, Matthew 5:6
Audit #6: Do You Keep His Commands? Exodus 20
Audit #7: Is God’s Law Written on Your Heart? Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:6-13
Audit #8: Do You Grow in Wisdom or just Knowledge?  James 1:15

Understanding Love
Audit #9: Do You Love Others? 1 John 4:7-12
Audit #10: Do You Love your Enemy? Matthew 5:43-48, 1 Corinthians 4:12
Audit #11: Do You Have a Love Affair with the World? 1 John 2:15-17, John 15:19
Audit #12: Are you politically correct when it comes to Jesus and your friends, family and coworkers? Matthew 10:32-33, 2 Corinthians 5:20

Tests and Discipline
Audit #13: Do you Have Chronic Sin? 1 John 3:6-10
Audit #14: Do You Get Disciplined by God? Hebrews 12:3-11
Audit #15: Do You Get Tested by God? James 1:2-3, 1 Peter 4:12-14
Audit #16: Are you instantly convicted when you sin? John 16:7-11
Audit #17: Do you get persecuted for your faith? 2 Timothy 3:12, John 15:18, 1 Peter 4:12-14, 1 Peter 3:14, Matthew 5:10
Audit #18: Are you hated by some people because of your faith? 1 John 3:13, Luke 6:22,

A Changed Life
Audit #19: Do You See a Changed Life? Ezekiel 36:25-26
Audit #20: Is Your Spiritual Life Different from Last Year? Are you growing? Colossians 1:9-10, 2 Peter 3:18
Audit #21: Do You Find Assurance or Conviction When You Read the Book of 1 John
Audit #22: Christian: Would a stranger or even a close friend or family member who is not a follower of Christ convict you of being a follower? 1 John 5:19, Colossians 4:5-6, 1 Corinthians 1:21-23

Fruit Audit – Do You Hear God Speak to You?

Have you ever heard God speak to you? Audibly? I haven’t and I can bet you have not either. There is no Bionically sound doctrine out there that states God will personally, audibly talk to you in this day and age. I am not saying it is not possible as that would be like trying to fit the Grand Canyon into a water cup. I would never try to put God in a box. I am going off of what he has decided to allow us to know about him through the only source he has given us: the Bible. So, when we talk about “listening to God” or trying to “hear God” what does that mean? It can be summed up very simply like this: We talk to God through our prayers, thoughts and actions and God talks to us through His Word, others, and our circumstances.

God can be blunt. I have found Him to be blunt when he desires you to not mistake his “voice.” I will hear a sermon on a specific topic, then it will pop up in my daily Bible reading that day or possibly the next, then a friend will bring up the exact same topic randomly at lunch the next day. That is what most people call coincidence or providence. When you are fully and truly saved there is no mistaking when God wants you to know or learn something.

God can be subtle. He sometimes wants you to be sensitive to his promptings. He is not always going to hit you over the head. In fact, usually he is subtle, drawing you close to him and desiring for you to desire his will and not your own. Do you respond to his promptings? When you sense the urge to pray, do you drop to your knees or do you finish what you are doing and then pray? When you feel the urge to help a stranger do you do so or do you continue on your way not wanting to impose? When you feel in your gut that you need to say a word of encouragement do you speak up or do you say the opposite or nothing at all?

When is the last time you tried to lift a thousand pounds? Probably never. Do you know who Paul Anderson is? He lifted 6,270 pounds. Do you think he woke up one day and said to himself “I’m going to lift up a truck today!” No! He worked at it, practicing every day, getting stronger every day, and focusing every day on lifting more and more. That is what hearing God is all about. Day by day, getting stronger and stronger at reading and memorizing his Word. Day by day, getting more in tune with the Holy Spirit’s moment by moment promptings. Day by day, lifting a little more weight until we finally see the prize. The day when we stand face to face with our Lord and Savior to hear those amazingly heart-crushing and soul-longing words “Well done, my good and faithful servant… Well done!”

To go deeper with this topic, check out the below post:
Do You Love God’s Word?

Maranatha!

FRUIT AUDIT PREVIOUS POSTS:
Introduction: Have Your Ever Taken a Fruit Audit?

Week 1 (DEFINING FRUIT)
Audit #1: The Fruit of the Spirit
Audit #2: Do you Walk by the Spirit?
Audit #3: Do you Actively “Make Disciples”?
Audit #4: Do you Love God the Most?

Week 2 (GOD’S LAW)
Audit #5: Do You Hear God Speak to You?
Audit #6: Are You a Lawbreaker?
Audit #7: Is God’s Law Written on Your Heart?
Audit #8: Do You Grow in Wisdom?

Week 3 (LOVE)
Audit #9: Do You Love Others?
Audit #10: Do You Love the One You Hate?
Audit #11: Do You Have a Love Affair with the World?
Audit #12: Who is Your Jesus?

Week 4 (TESTS & DISCIPLINE)
Audit #13: Do you Have Chronic Sin?
Audit #14: Are You Convicted by the Holy Spirit?
Audit #15: Do You Get Disciplined by God?
Audit #16: Do You Get Tested by God?

Week 5 (CHANGE)
Audit #17: Do You See a Radically Changed Life?
Audit #18: Is Your Spiritual Life Different from Last Year?
Audit #19: Do You Find Assurance or Conviction When You Read the Book of 1 John
Audit #20: Christian: Guilty As Charged!

FRUIT AUDIT – Does your life reflect the first and greatest commandment by God?

Do You Love God the Most?
When you look at your daily spending, your daily activities, and your daily interactions, it may become clear who your god is? Take an honest assessment of your day. While most of us spend the majority of our day working, which God calls us to do, are you the type of person who makes your career your life and keeps church and state separate so to speak or you the type of person who tries to bring God into your career? Are you the type of person who spends 10 minutes in God’s word in the morning and then spends 2 hours on Facebook during the day and another 2 hours watching TV at the end of your day and then cap it all off by another 5 minutes in prayer before bed time? Just sayin’. Be real and be honest and figure out who your god is. I hope it is the one true God that you love with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength!

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” – Matthew 22:36-38

Here is a more in depth audit on how you feel about God:
Are you a Politically Correct Christian?
Who do you Love?

Maranatha!

FRUIT AUDIT PREVIOUS POSTS:
Introduction: Have Your Ever Taken a Fruit Audit?
Audit #1: The Fruit of the Spirit
Audit #2: Do you Walk by the Spirit?
Audit #3: Do you Actively “Make Disciples”?
Audit #4: Do you Love God the Most?

FRUIT AUDIT – Do you “make disciples” actively or do you leave it to the “professionals”?

Jesus calls us to “make disciples.” Do you make disciples actively or do you leave it to the “professionals”?
I often found myself saying others are better at this than me and that is their gift, not mine. If you read the Bible thoroughly you will find that way of thinking is false. Jesus never said “only if you feel like it” or “only if you feel called to” or “only if you are good at it.” Quite the contrary. The Bible is full of stories, examples, and commands to people who were self-professing babbling idiots, but those are precisely who God used time and time again. His glory shines brighter through those who are less able to do what he wants you to do.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:19

Maranatha!

FRUIT AUDIT PREVIOUS POSTS:
Introduction: Have Your Ever Taken a Fruit Audit?
Audit #1: The Fruit of the Spirit
Audit #2: Do you Walk by the Spirit?
Audit #3: Do you Actively “Make Disciples”?

FRUIT AUDIT – Do you Walk by the Spirit? What does that mean exactly?

Do you walk by the Spirit?
Based on yesterday’s highly pulled quote from the Bible, Galatians 5:22-23 on the Fruit of the Spirit, you may want to take a look at the context of the above verses and dig a bit deeper. What does it mean to “walk by the Spirit”? Think back to a day when you rushed out of the house and did not have time to start your day in the Word or in prayer. Think about how your day went. Now think about those days where you spent a good amount of time praying and hearing what God has to say to you through his Word. Can you tell a difference in your day? For me, when I make a purposeful time at the beginning of my day it is like surrounding myself with a layer of Holy Spirit Protection or God Force Field as my son likes to call it. My attitude is different and my will power to do God’s will and not my own is greater because I am walking by the Spirit.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” – Galatians 5:16-26

Maranatha!

FRUIT AUDIT PREVIOUS POSTS:
Introduction: Have Your Ever Taken a Fruit Audit?
Audit #1: The Fruit of the Spirit
Audit #2: Do you Walk by the Spirit?

FRUIT AUDIT – The Fruit of the Spirit

Do have character in keeping with the Fruit of the Spirit?
This is a tricky one. Often people think this is what Jesus is talking about when he refers to “fruit.” The word for fruit in Greek is”karpos” and has a broader meaning than that just found in Galatians to describe the Fruit of the Spirit in how we are to act. It also has the meaning of praise and worship to God as well as things that profit and bring glory to God. The Strong’s definition of karpos is “that which originates or comes from something, an effect, result. A work, act, or deed. An advantage, profit, or utility. That which praises, and which are presented to God as a thank offering.” So while the Fruit of the Spirit is indeed a great place to start, it is just that, a place to start. A fun way to see how you measure up to the Fruit of the Spirit is to put your name in front of each fruit. For me it would read: Jen is loving, Jen is joyful, Jen is peaceful, Jen is patient, Jen is kind, Jen shows goodness, Jen is faithful, Jen is gentle, Jen has self-control. Try putting your name in there and see if it is true. Check back tomorrow to discover another fruit that Jesus wants us to bear!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23, ESV

Maranatha!

FRUIT AUDIT PREVIOUS POSTS:
Introduction: Have Your Ever Taken a Fruit Audit?
Audit #1: The Fruit of the Spirit

FRUIT AUDIT – Have you ever taken a fruit audit? You may want to!

We are encouraged in the Bible by Paul to test our faith. He tells us in his second letter to the Corinthians, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.” (2 Corinthians 13:5, ESV) Likewise, in Matthew we see a call to test others by their fruits. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-20, ESV) Also, John the Baptist in preparing the way for the Messiah in a clear and bold way declares the following: “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Luke 3:8-9, ESV)

With all that said plus many other scriptures that speak about our fruit as Christians, I think it is something worth checking often in our walks with Jesus! Check out the many verses below that reference our fruit. We will be going through a daily series of “audits” for you to consider as you test yourself. Check back each day for the daily audit.

Verses that reference our fruit: James 3:17, Matthew 21:43, Matthew 12:33, Luke 6:43, John 15:2, John 15:16, Matthew 3:8, Matthew 13:23, Mark 4:20, Luke 8:15, Luke 13:7, John 4:36, John 15:4-5, John 15:8, Romans 6:22, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 5:9, Philippians 1:11, Philippians 4:17, Colossians 1:6, Colossians 1:10, Hebrews 12:11, Hebrews 13:15.

Maranatha!

Friday Fruits Audit ~ Your Words

bridle your tongueDo you bridle your tongue?

The words you say have the ability to direct your life; either to a sinful destiny or a godly destiny. I choose the latter, however, I often fail. I pray daily for help in this area and get sad when, once again, I blow it. James put it so well when he discusses this in the below passage. Readers were well acquainted with the understanding behind the examples of bits and horses, rudders and ships. They would have heard these analogies often. To compare those ideas with the tongue and the body makes one not think that you can control the body physically with the tongue but that the bit and the rudder controls the DIRECTION the horse and ship go, so similarly the tongue controls the direction a man goes; his is destiny to live a controlled, godly life.

“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” – James 3:3-12, ESV

How many times do we have to mess this up before we get it right? Probably until we are home with Jesus. However, it is not something that we should overlook. Actually, having the Holy Spirit dwell in you means that your words, if slanderous, used for gossip, cussing with friends because it is funny, or any other ungodly use should have a somewhat immediate effect on your own spirit. I’m not saying you will be perfect and never wrongly judge or criticize someone. I am also not saying that the occasional profanity won’t slip from your mouth by accident. The difference is that the moment it does, if you are truly walking in the Spirit, you will feel convicted. It won’t be months later or even weeks or days. It will be within a moment or two. Perhaps even an hour if you are really in a funk. But that conviction will weigh heavy on your heart. It will cause you to notice right away as a reminder to do better next time. If you are growing as a believer in Christ, you will notice growth. The more you are convicted and continue to walk in the Spirit, the better you will get at bridling your tongue.

Friday Fruit Audit ~ The Spirit

Do you walk by the Spirit?

The idea is that the more time you spend with God the closer you will become to him and the more you will want to spend time with him. Imagine getting to a place where you no longer need to “carve out” time in your life for God but where you need to carve out time in your walk with God for your life. The Lord promises that if you hunger and thirst to do his will, obey his commands, and follow after him you will be satisfied. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” -Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

In fact, you will be more than satisfied. Take a look at what Peter has to say:

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” -1 Peter 1:8 (ESV)

In Peter’s day his readers understood the word “agapo” or “love” to mean continually loving God and as a regular daily activity. The word “pisteuo” or “believe” means to rest your confidence in or to trust in or depend on. The joy of this verse implies joy for the present. The word for rejoice was not commonly used by secular Greek writers of Peter’s day as it meant a deep spiritual joy. As we continually spend time daily with Jesus through faith we rejoice and have joy that is unutterable and exalted. They understood this as wanting more and more of Jesus and that joy was something only believers could experience. Have you experienced this?

Even though I have not seen him, I am active in my love and faith by daily worshiping him through prayer and bible reading. Because of this communion with him I have even deeper joy that is filled with the glory of heaven. By adjusting your life to focus more on God you will inevitably begin to mirror the below verses written by Paul to the Galatians.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” - Galatians 5:16-26 (ESV)

My prayer: Father, what a gift you have given me in your Word. Help me to desire it more and more each day. Oh Jesus, I long to see your face. Father, I cannot wait to look upon your face shining like the sun. Holy Spirit, what an honor to know your person living in me. God, my God, I have faith and trust in you; to know that my belief in you brings me heavenly joy is so exciting! To think that perhaps my faith actually rests in you and that you are joyful for it is overwhelming. Thank you for loving me with a love I don’t even have words for.

 

Fruit Audit ~ What Do You Crave?

What do you crave?

Matthew 22:36-38 (ESV)

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

Have you ever had the insatiable appetite for something? Chocolate cake, a hot-off-the-conveyor-belt Krispy-Kreme donuts, cold water after a five mile run, the book of Revelation, your bed after dancing all night with your girlfriends, wait, back up, Revelation? What??? Yes, Revelation. Think about it. Have you ever been obsessed with reading your Bible? Have you hungered after it like a newborn is desperate for milk? Here’s what Peter says about it, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation- if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” – 1 Peter 2:2-3 (ESV)

The pure spiritual milk he is talking about is the Word of God. On the same note, what drives your life? What do you have an appetite for? Where do you spend most of your time? What do you spend most of your time doing? As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” When we diet the first thing we usually have to do is start tracking everything we eat. Have you ever done a diet log? Writing down each day what you eat, how much you eat, and how many calories you eat? You cannot know what to change until you know what your current habits are. You may do this with your finances too. Tracking where every penny goes. I challenge you to do two things.

First, take a look at your checkbook and figure out where most of your extra money goes. Set aside cost of living and then tally up where you spend your extra cash. Do you spend your money on movies with friends, concerts, clothing and shoes, expensive purses, cars (this one is big for the boys but it has gotten increasingly important to us girls too,) how about eating out, or your drinking habits both coffee and alcohol. You can make your own list, this is just a short one based on what most people frivolously spend money on that they claim just disappears

Second, take a look at your waking hours and figure out where you spend most of your extra hours. Set aside your work hours and then tally up everything else. Don’t include your commute time in your work time. That is still yours. Do you spend your extra time watching TV, or how about social media? That one seems to be one of the biggest time suckers even overtaking our TV time. Do you have a long commute where you listen to the news or radio or perhaps your commute is with a friend where you casually talk about nothing important. Right now I bet you are spending tons of time online researching all you can about wedding ideas and finding the right vendors.

Taking inventory on where your extra time and money goes will help you to see what is really important to you. I often hear pastors state that we need to “carve out time for God everyday.” Hmm. That is odd to me. Actually it is pathetic. If I told you I were going to eat just one large meal a week and then each morning I would have just one bite of cereal, but don’t worry because each day I would change up my bite. Tomorrow I might have a bite of banana, and the morning after that I will be sure to eat a bite of broccoli, then the next morning a bite of chicken to get my protein in. You would think I was nuts. You would also tell me if I was serious that I would most likely die from malnutrition. And yes, you would be right.

So what makes us think we are spiritually full by getting 15 minutes of bible reading in, 15 minutes of prayer time, and 1 hour of lesson time from your pastor each week. The timing that I just listed is, I’m guessing, even more than you actually commit to right now. It is what a stronger Christian might serve up to herself. You might be lucky if you even get to church this week let alone open your bible AND pray every single day of your life. Oh, but you pray all the time, in the car here and there, when you are brushing your teeth, and all sorts of other times throughout the day. Oh, I see… well then in your case you are just fine. Keep it up. How’s that working out for you?

So, is carving out 15 minutes or perhaps even 30 minutes a day with your creator fair when you are spending 4 hours watching TV, 2 hours in a mindless commute, 4 hours on Facebook, etc. etc. etc. You get the point. I’m going to challenge you again. After you have completed the first two challenges, I want you to insert time with God into at least half of the mindless time things you are doing. For instance:

  • If you watch 2 hours of TV a day spend one hour watching TV and one hour reading your Bible.
  • If you spend 2 hours a day commuting to and from work, try spending 30 minutes each way praying out load to God in the car or listening to the Bible. You can get quality recordings for free online.
  • If you spend 1 hour reading fiction or magazines, try 30 minutes in a Bible commentary learning something new about God.
  • If you workout at the gym for 1 hour a day, try going on a walk with God in prayer. It is fun to do a gratitude walk where you tank God for as many things as you can think of in beat to your walk pace. Or, at the gym listen to a recorded sermon on your phone. You can find a bunch of amazing sermons by searching for a topic you want to listen to at www.focalpointministries.org or checking out some sermon libraries online.