Smoke and Mirrors John 15:16

John 15:16 (NLT)
16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

Matthew 6:24 (ESV)
24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

So it goes. Another night at the jail and I was (again) blown away by the boys in the blue outfits. It’s a roller coaster ride that has to end some day. The jail is a safe place because there aren’t the distractions of the world – as the boys struggle to know what it is to be a man, they can focus, undistracted, on the word of the Lord. He defines what it is to be a man, not the streets. On the streets a boy is a man, living within the illusion created by smoke and mirrors, playing the con. There’s hope under the protection of isolation in jail, but the world is a cunning place and it takes it’s own. Those few who break out see reality clearer than most. People, places and things reclaim far too many “…for the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Mat 26:41)

In the Lord’s eyes, when you live his rules you’re a man. Accountability, responsibility, integrity, expecting God’s greater rewards.

He chose us – all of us – even if we refuse the invite. We can’t serve two masters. Hearses don’t have U-Hauls behind them. Facts of life no matter how we try to avoid them.

Matthew 24:42 (ESV)
42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

Galatians 6:1
1. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

The world is a tempting place, full of smoke and mirrors, but empty of real love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are the fruit of God (Galatians 5:22-23).

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