Monday, January 31, 2011

Huh.. Me Fruitful?

Believer, ever wonder as to why you were chosen by God? Has anyone ever asked you why you are here?

Does fruitfulness come to mind?

Do your ears perk up a bit along with the needle rising on your interest-meter, when this topic is broached?

Do you think of loving character attributes in regards to fruit?

Do you think of influencing a lot of people in a positive way so that they will also choose to serve the Lord?

Do you think of the many mission fields of the world and their tribesmen starting to believe what the Bible says about Christ.. that was perhaps newly translated into their language? 

What first comes to your mind, when you hear a preacher talk about how to bring forth spiritual fruit? Do you feel pushed or drawn, scared or excited, like doing something to please the Lord, or something because the Lord is already pleased with you?

Hey gang, this in an important subject to God for He expects faithfulness and fruitfulness from His children, but He never pushes. He gently leads us into fruitful living.

In fact Christ made this clear when He said, "You did not choose Me, but 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" (Jn. 15:16).

So many believers get off track these days.. especially with this topic as it relates to who we are to witness to and how? It would seem that many believers would prefer to argue about who are the elect and who are not the elect, with the elect. I've even seen some of the more zealous ones out picketing at Billy Graham evangelistic meetings so that Christians wanting to win their friends to Jesus there, would just stop and let God do it all. How is that biblical? Didn't Jesus command His followers to go?

I'm thinking of those needing the Gospel in Egypt today. Some believers will be led to stay there and share Christ. And Jesus alone is the only One to call missionaries to witness there. What if this Land never saw or heard from one witness again? How sad would that be!

Listen, if you have doubts and lack eternal security because you've listened to some negative thinkers.. if you want to know God's will for you.. if you want to know if God chose you to be a part of His eternal Kingdom ..or not.. then simply repent and choose Jesus as your Savior and Lord today and then guess what? You will know the Answer to this all important issue. Yeah, whosoever will, go for it (I mean go for Him right now and settle it)!

Yes, to keep it simple, it is indeed the Lord's will for you to worship God every day as the Spirit leads you, believer. It is the Lord's will for every Christian to desire God's Word and to fellowship with growing believers who also study the Bible. It is the Lord's will that every Christian go with the Gospel in love those needing to hear the Message. It is clearly Christ's will for you to walk close with Him daily so that you go, grow and bear fruit that abides.

But what is it?

Let's think about the basics of fruit for a minute here.

Natural fruit has within it the seeds of other fruit. Why? It's because God likes reproduction! And He loves spiritual reproduction in His Kingdom.

Have you ever witnessed to someone who was open to spiritual things and they said "Yes, I do want to know this Bible Christ. Sure, right now! What must I do?" And then after they turn and trust the Lord you see them just devouring Christian books, CDs, MP3s etc and in a matter of a few weeks or a few months ..there they are growing and leading another person into righteousness with the Word of God.

How exciting. How thrilling. This zeal coupled with joy in Jesus is rad-infectious, and can even reignite even old stodgy lukewarm believers. That's why I love to be around baby believers and those learning to witness.

When I read the Bible about this or even speak of "fruit," here is what I want you to think of..

* Character – how loving am I really?
* Conduct – how I actually live my life.
* Contributions – how God leads me to give of my time, talents, and treasure to support His world-wide ministry effort.
* Communication – how I say and what I say to unbelievers ..or even to the Lord in whole-hearted praising Him. 
* Converts – how and who I win to Jesus Christ (yes win biblically, and I don't mean "win to me" [the witness] as some fishers might aim to do).

I really challenge you to rethink and repray over each of these areas, beloved. Please don't be frustrated. Trust the Lord to eencourage and help you.

"God blessed them and said, 'Be fruitful and increase in number…'" ~ Genesis 1:22

      "One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything before you go to bed." ~ Ann Landers

"I would put it to you, my dear hearer, have you been fruitful? Have you been fruitful with your wealth? Have you been fruitful with your talent? Have you been fruitful with your time? What are you doing for Jesus now?" ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Jesus said, "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more" (Lk. 12:48)> Man, I personally have been given so many blessings that it makes my head spin. Most Westerners have received so much comparatively. Thank you Lord, You are so, So, SO good to us! I love you so much!

But that's why I like to pray something like this, "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us; Selah. That Thy Way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations" (Ps. 67:1-2).

There ya have it. A great missionary prayer for others. And the secret to this fruitfulness is abiding in Jesus (the true vine).

Please prayerfully meditate on Christ's passage on fruit-bearing here again…

"A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Lk. 8:5-8).

Jesus explained it saying "The seed is the Word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience" (vv. 11-15).

So, my question to you is this: Are you a spiritually fruitful believer.. or at least wanting to be? Are you denying your self, resisting the devil and saying no to this world's system and to your flesh? Are sinners.. or lukewarm or carnal believers pulling you down spiritually? Get away from em! Fruit with Jesus is more important than any destructive friendships. Sow to the Spirit more diligently even on days when your flesh doesn't feel like it.

I don't want you to ever be choked out by the cares and desires of the world—by thorns. I want you to take root in the rich soil of truth. I want you to keep falling in love with Christ over and over again until you just have to tell someone.

Do you pray for fruit saying something like, "God, thank you that You alone can help me to bear fruit for Christ's glory! Is there anything in my way, basically impeding fruit from coming forth in my life? What will you put in and take out of my life—have at it because I want to be filled up with your Spirit until there in zero room left for worry or fear. Would You have me in a different kind of work, or church? Will You lead me to on-fire close friends who are spiritually sound, wise and balanced? What are the main things that You want me involved with this year, or not involved with this year so I can produce more fruit than ever before? Help me to pray more specifically in faith, to sow more purely, to praise You more fervently, and to witness more effectively. Definitely want to biblically employ gifts that You give, but more than that, I long for You and lasting fruit. Pour your love in big time even now! Together, let's see rivers of living water flow as I go from 30, to 60, to 100 fold fruitfulness. Help me stick with You all the way even if none go with. Let your anointing flow through me as I obey the Scriptures just like nourishing sap from a vine for a purpose! Thanks Lord."
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