To Be Fruitful

We have been having a heat wave here in Sri Lanka – and with the humidity factor as well, I have been just getting drenched with sweat!  Having grown up in the West, and despite the long years of living here, it looks like my body still hasn’t adjusted.  I see people look at me a tad sympathetically!!  No matter how much liquid is consumed and how full one is, it just seems as thirst is what defines me in this time.  Nothing like a nice cool lime juice or water melon juice or the king coconut water.  Being in a tropical climate, that is one great benefit – the variety of fruit.

Not only are fruit appealing to the eye, they are indeed beneficial for our well being.  Different forms of consuming the fruit – merely as fruit or as juice or sorbet or salads… have different effects too!

The tree that bears the fruit doesn’t get the benefit from it.  Rather, it GIVES OUT.  Sunlight, soil, water are what the tree benefits from.  The deeper the tree is rooted, the healthier it is and thus yields better fruit. When the tree doesn’t get the necessary nutrients, when it isn’t rooted properly, the tree will either not yield fruit it would be bad fruit.  It needs pruning and if it still doesn’t bear fruit it is cut down!  We are CHOSEN by God.. and the purpose is to BEAR FRUIT.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruitfruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you – John 15:16

The more we abide in the vine, the more healthier fruit we yield.  Being rooted in God, studying His word and listening to His voice give the ‘nutrients’ for our spiritual walk.  In essence it is our intimacy with HIM, not for what we can get but rather just to be in love with HIM!  Sunlight can be compared to the illumination of God’s Word by the Holy Spirit.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you – John 15

When we don’t yield fruit, the consequences are clearly put forward.

A fruit cannot be moulded or formulated and made to look nice then placed on the tree!  As absurd as that sounds, being legalistic with rules and regulations imposing do’s and don’ts is simply the same thing.  It takes people to abide in the vine to bear fruit.. and the better the quality of the fruit of the Spirit which is yielded by abiding in the vine, the more healthy relationships with one another as we then have the patience, the love, the kindness, the self control etc etc.

Jesus clearly tells us it is by our love for ONE ANOTHER that we will be known as His disciples.  Abiding in the vine is required to LOVE sincerely and regularly..  Who has God connected us with?  Those are the people who Jesus calls us our neighbours – geographically those who live around us, those who work with us, those whom God has placed in our lives in other circles too such as church, social media etc etc.  How are we treating one another?  Are we able to love each other as Christ loved us?

Have you embraced the grace of Jesus Christ?  If you have, you will automatically embrace one another with that same grace!  It takes abiding in the vine to be able to do this…

Are we able to bear fruit for others to benefit – to be able to be that cool fruit on a hot summers day?

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed – Isaiah 50:4

The acid test of our relationship with God is in the quality of the relationships that we have with the people God has connected us with.

Let’s bear fruit, good fruit… not bad fruit that is quick to rot and be infested with worms!  Our purpose on earth is to bear fruit – to establish His body.. and He promises that whatever we ask for this He will give us!

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