Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Becoming (Part 12)
I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:1-2 (NKJV)
I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He may give you.
John 15:16 (NKJV)
I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to Me, He gives you.
John 15:16 (The Message)
When fruit trees are young, they don't bear fruit. They need good soil, bright sun, clean air, fresh water and deepening roots. Careful tending, added fertilizer and wise pruning help them grow. But fruitfulness takes time: an average of 1-7 years.
When Christians are young, they don't bear fruit. They need open hearts, the Son of God, the Spirit of God, living water and deepening faith. Encouraging leaders, God's Word and gentle correction help them grow. But fruitfulness takes time: 3 years for His first disciples.
What is our fruit? If we become 'Trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord' (Isaiah 61:3), then our fruit is our witness and our work. It becomes evident in three ways: smell, sight and touch. As 'The aroma of Christ' (2 Corinthians 2:15), we smell good to hungry hearts. As 'Ambassadors for Christ' (2 Corinthians 5:20), we look good to lonely hearts. As new Creations in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), we feel good to broken hearts.
And when seeking souls take a bite, step or reach in our direction, they 'Taste and see that the Lord is good' (Psalm 34:8). Fruitfulness is visible evangelism.*
Note #1: Fruit follows flowers. Consider these beautiful blooms as markers of maturing faith: kind eyes, smiling lips, warm greetings, open arms, helping hands, eager steps and generous wallets.
Note #2: Fruit doesn't talk. For Christians, it's how we act that matters most: Our motivation? 'Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,' and 'self-control' (Galatians 5:22-23).
Note #3: Fruit isn't manmade. We can't transform ourselves. But we can open our hearts, live in the Light, breathe by His Spirit, wash in His water, follow good leaders, abide in His Word, and welcome correction... to deepen our faith and expand our witness. By His grace, we bear fruit.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Millions are starving. So grow deep, grow up, grow out and blossom in your talent. Then feed the hungry. For this purpose you were born. 'The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise' (Proverbs 11:30).
To Be Continued...
* Article: 'What does it mean to be a fruitful Christian?':
* Article: 'How To Produce Divine Fruit': http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/supernatural/17430-how-to-produce-divine-fruit
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Becoming series.