Tag Archives: Bearing fruit

Taking it to the next level

next level

…Bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.  May you be strengthened with all power, according to HIs glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.  Colossians 1:10b-11

When teams make the playoffs each year, but never win the championship, the coach usually says something like, “we need to take it to the next level.”  God, take my walk with You to the next level.  Raise the level of my living from the ordinary to the extraordinary.  How to do that?  Start by praying and asking God to show you how.   Paul’s prayer is a good guideline.

May you bear fruit in every good work.  Bearing fruit can be the fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5.  We could be so busy telling others about Jesus or serving in some way that we lose focus and get crabby, selfish and hard to be around.  The first place we need to bear fruit is in our character, consciously walking in the Spirit and not setting our minds on things of the flesh.

Another aspect of bearing fruit has to do with actually seeing God work through us in other people’s’ lives.    John 15:5 tells us, “Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”  Fruit can be that whatever you endeavor to do for God actually makes a difference.   Some people live their Christian lives never seeing fruit, which would be like having an apple tree in your yard that never bears apples.  Fruit is the natural outcome of having a healthy relationship with God.  To take it to the next level, call out to God to bear fruit through you.

May you get to know God better.  The best ways to do that is through Bible study and prayer.  Seek God and keep seeking HIm.  Ask God to show Himself to you.  Place yourself around people who seem to know God and learn from them as much as you can.  Another way to get to know God better is to do something for Him that really stretches your faith. Watch God work when you do that!   I love reading biographies of people who have accomplished great things for God.  It stretches my faith and helps me to get a picture of what God can do in my  life.  Just like you set goals to lose weight or to learn a hobby, set a goal to put you on the path of getting to know God better.

May you have endurance, patience and joy that comes from God.  It is easy to grab for the easy things in life and to give up if something gets hard.  The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint.  May God build in you the ability to not be weary in serving Him, but as Paul encouraged Timothy to do in 2 Timothy 4: “Proclaim the message, persist in it, whether convenient or not.”  He also told Timothy to endure hardship and to fulfill his ministry.  And may you have the joy of the Lord that rests upon you.

May God be at work in your life in all kinds of ways.  May you get to know Him better and see fruit in the things that you endeavor to do for HIm.  And may God give you His energy, patience and overflowing joy.

 


Bearing Fruit

 

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I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

Jesus spoke these words the night before He was crucified.  Picture Him standing amongst the grapevines between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives and telling the eleven some of His most important truths.  In Isaiah 5, God spoke  to Israel about how they were His vineyard, but they rebelled and they yielded wild grapes.

Jesus announced that He is the true vine who did not rebel and now He was to produce good fruit through those who abide in Him.   Abiding in Jesus means to rest in Him, trusting in His saving work in your life.  Have you ever been around people who wear you out just by being around them because of their striving?  Perhaps they have never learned rest in what Jesus has done, believing that they have to control everything around them to make things happen.

Instead of it being up to us, it is the Holy Spirit who works in us to get things done, to bear fruit, and to stay connected to Jesus.   If we live with this vital connection to Jesus, with the Holy Spirit’s enabling power, we will bear much fruit.  A healthy grape vine produces many grapes.  A healthy Christian produces spiritual fruit.  That fruit is the evidence that Jesus is at work within us.  Some Christians who do not seem to bear fruit. My guess is that they really do not read the Bible, pray much,  or have a vital relationship with Jesus that truly changes their day to day agenda.

Many Christians  are busy for God, but aren’t necessarily fruitful.  They get involved in programs out of duty, thinking this is the way to please God or to earn His favor.  They “work for God,” but don’t understand the abiding relationship told about in John 15.   They are well intentioned, but are not fruitful or joyful.

Abiding in Jesus, resting in Him and listening to His voice as a way of living the Christian life brings answered prayer and joy.  As we live close to Jesus’ heart through being in the Word and relational prayer, He places His plans and purposes on our hearts.  And when we do those things, we will see God use us and bear fruit through us.

Psalm 37:3 promises, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  When you are connected to Jesus, He will put His plans, purposes and desires into your heart.  You may begin to dream about things you never thought of before because God has put it on your heart.  Instead of signing up for every opportunity that comes your way, it is best to wait for this leading from the Lord as you pray about what to do.  When you follow that leading, there will be fruit because it is a task that God purposed for you to do.

Apart from Jesus we can do nothing.  We must stay in close connection to Him through His Word and in prayer.  Guard your relationship with Jesus and don’t let other things get in the way, including sin.  Keep a clean slate before Him.  When you do, watch and wait for Jesus to bear fruit in your life.

This is from Corrie Ten Boom’s book Not Good if Detached (pg. 42) about John 15:6:

“If the connection between the branch and the vine remains, the fruit comes from the vine.  The branch does not help the vine.  The vine does not help the branch.  The vine does everything, and the branch must keep connected with it.  That electric lamp there does not help the generator, the generator does not help the lamp.  The generator gives all the power.  The lamp must only be connected.

You do not help the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit does not help you.  The Holy Spirit does everything–the only condition is that you must keep in contact.”