FRUITFUL OR FRUITLESS?
Which One are You?
This is the time of the year, when many people involved with gardens, orchards or farming enjoy the fruits of their labors. For the people involved with these vocations or hobbies, there is always a visible evidence of the fruit of a person's labor.
In fact, no matter what kind of occupation, hobby or endeavor a person is involved in, they will usually, at one time or another, experience the fruit of their labors. The individual who invests their money wisely will experience a return on their investment. The student who diligently studies will experience the rewards of learning and achievement. The athletes, who discipline themselves physically and develop their skills, will reap the benefits of knowing they have done their best in preparing for the game. The parents, who diligently strive to bring up and train their children in the ways of the Lord, will experience the blessings of knowing that they have done what is right in the sight of the Lord..
In this edition From the Pastor's Desk, I want to begin a series of meditations on fruitfulness and fruitlessness. There are many passages in the Bible, which give some very specific teachings and instructions about being fruitful or fruitless. For example, these are just a few of what we read in the Bible.
“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psa 1:1-3 NKJV)
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.” Prov. 11: 30
Jesus said in John 15:
1.)“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”
2.)“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.”
3.)“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”
4.)“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
5.)“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
6.)“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
7.)“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
8.)“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Then finally, we read in Galatians 5:22, which will become the topic for our meditations during the next several months. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
While we explore the fruit of the Spirit in our lives during the next several months, I will be sharing with you some thoughts from a book entitled "A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit" by W. Phillip Keller, that have helped me tremendously in my own walk with The True Vine and The Vine Dresser. Let me share with you a quote from this book to introduce you to the author and the importance of the fruit of the Spirit of God in our lives.
“Fruits and flowers do not just grow by caprice in the natural realm, nor do the fruits of God's Spirit flourish in our own lives by mere whimsy or accident. Certain causes produce certain effects both in the natural and spiritual realms. It is as we begin to see that concept in Christian living that a whole new exciting life like Christ's can open up to us.”
The fruit of God's Spirit in our lives depends on what the soil of our soul is like. What is the soil of your soul like? How fruitful or fruitless are you? Next time we will examine the soil of our soul in connection with the fruit of God's Spirit.
Striving to Stay Rooted and Be Fruitful!
Pastor Perry DeGroot