LIVING FRUITFUL LIVES
The theme for this month in church is “The Christian Lifestyle”,
Galatians 5:24-25 BSB “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit.”
So I am led that tonight we would look at one of the major themes in the Bible, and can be found in the prophets, the teachings of Jesus and by the various Apostles. So let’s start off with what Jesus said:
John 15:4-8 AMP “…Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken off] branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified and honoured by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.
In other words what Jesus is telling you and me, is that we must produce fruit in our lives as we are grafted into Him, and by doing so we will bring glory to the Father and prove to be His disciples. As Jesus is the vine, and the Father is the vine-dresser then we need to understand that the fruit we must produce in our Christian walk must be from the seed planted into our lives when we were born again.
Paul in his letter to the Ephesians says the following:
Ephesians 5:9-10 AMP…(for the fruit [the effect, the result] of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth)*, trying to learn [by experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [and letting your lifestyles be examples of what is most acceptable to Him–your behaviour expressing gratitude to God for your salvation].
Our opening scripture was Galatians 5:24-25 so let’s back up and read the preceding few verses and we have revealed to us the nine fruits that should be evident in our lives. Now, I know in my own
life there are areas that God needs to prune, just as there are in yours, but we are to cultivate those seeds and allow God to bring them to fruition:
Galatians 5:22-23 BSB But *the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
All the above-mentioned fruit should be a reflection, firstly on our own lives, and secondly as an invitation to those around us. No, I don’t mean just at church, but in the very environment we find ourselves in every hour of every day. Many of those around you have probably heard you confess your belief, but they are watching you to see if what you say reflects in your life. Remember how Jesus spoke to the fig tree when He was hungry and did not have fruit, well the same will apply to
those who watch to see the fruit in your life.
In summing up allow me to quote from Psalm 1:3 AMP: “And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity].”
The Passion Translation says it as follows:
He will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss, bearing fruit in every season of life. He is never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous.
My closing prayer for tonight is taken from Colossians 1:
Father, Jesus said ‘we receive not because we ask not’, therefore we come before You tonight asking [specifically] that we may be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom [with insight into Your purposes], and in understanding [of spiritual things], so that we will walk in a manner worthy of the You [displaying admirable character, moral courage, and personal integrity], to [fully] please You in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing in the
knowledge of You, Father, [with deeper faith, clearer insight and fervent love for Your precepts]; so that we will bear much fruit in our lives so that You will be glorified. Amen