Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Fruit Basket - The Gift God really Wants.

The one gift that God treasures most from His children, is a Fruit Basket. While not everyone appreciates receiving a fruit basket, it is a gift that can make all the difference to God, and each person we share it with, not to mention the benefit to our own lives.

Do you know how I know that God loves Fruit Baskets – He tells me so, repeatedly in His word, most notably John chapter 15. In Christ’s own words he tells us that we are to bear fruit “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” John 15:16 Straight from the mouth of Christ – BEAR FRUIT - FRUIT THAT WILL LAST

Verse 8 Jesus Christ says to us “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” There are two things we learn from these words of Jesus We Glorify God by producing Fruit and a true disciple produces a bounty of fruit – it is evidence of our relationship with Christ. Matthew 7:16 reads “By their fruit you will recognize them.”

The term fruit as it is used here includes everything from their growing in the image of God and the fruits of the spirit, to the fruit that is produced because of their sharing the gospel and the fruit that is produced as a result of their service to God and others. A fruitful life is a life that benefits others. A vineyard is worthless unless it bears fruit that provides life, nourishment and joy for people, so the Christian life would be worthless unless Christians lived so that others may find life, strength and joy through their example and good works, and so that the world may be brought into relationship with Christ through the cross.

Verse 16 briefly touches on the quality of fruit God desires. It implies (through the direction to “GO”) that the disciples should be rich in good works and be striving to produce fruit that lasts. If you are uncomfortable with the implication of good works here, you can turn in your bibles to Colossians 1:10 “We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work.”

Fruit is something tangible, it is something I can see, I can hold, I can touch, it nourishes me, strengthens me and gives me life. This is the kind of fruit we are called to produce – life-giving fruit.

As Christians, a fruit basket should be the easiest gift to give; we should be overflowing with fruit, a virtual cornucopia of plenty. Fruit is the evidence of life in Christ!

Take inventory of the lasting fruit our spiritual life is producing. What difference has your faith made in your life, made in someone else’s life? What difference has your faith made in your church and for God’s kingdom? What fruit is your faith producing?

We can claim to have the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control, but if it is not evidenced in tangible ways, expressed in good works, giving life to others, and bringing God glory, then perhaps we need check for parasites and examine our roots for rot.

Jesus warns us that those whose faith does not produce fruit will lose their privileges. I quote Jesus from Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit"

We are a people who will produce the fruit for the Kingdom of God if we are faithful with what we have been given. There are 3 biblical principles that we can apply that will help to increase the fruit yield in our lives.

First and foremost, if we want to produce fruit that will bring sustenance to our life and bring life to the lost than we need to remain attached to the vine. The Vine is Jesus Christ. If we look again at Jesus’ words in the book of John chapter 15 verse 5 He tells us “If a man remains in me and I in Him, He will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Second we must submit to God as the gardener. Jesus refers to us in verse 2 as the branches and says, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Finally “An apple a day keeps the pain at bay” The fruit that is produced in helping others, not only Glorifies God, and brings life to others, it actually brings us healing.

As Christians we need to commit to doing whatever we can to cultivate fruit so that at the proper time it can be harvested. It will not be easy but if we remain attached to vine; remain dependent on Christ; in His word &faithful to His word, our faithfulness will produce fruitfulness. If we submit to God as the gardener, allowing him, as painful as it may be to prune the dead branches in our lives, we will reap a harvest. If we take the focus off ourselves and place our focus on others, we will experience and abundance like we have never imagined and their will be a transformation of our lives, and community.

No comments:

Post a Comment