Message summary: A consideration of fruitfulness.
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“This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples” (John 15:8). “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last” (John 15:16). “That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work” (Colossians 1:10).
One of the blessed sights of summer is a basketful of locally grown fresh fruit or vegetables. This year Brooksyne has canned or frozen cherries, peaches, and rhubarb. Of course, we’re now entering the apple season so she’ll be busy preserving apples in one way or another.
This morning we stopped at Cherry Hill Orchard where many people pick their own fruit or buy produce already picked, often with the idea of preserving the fresh fruit flavor over the winter months by freezing, canning or drying the produce. Orchard farmers are always pleased when they’ve had a good season of plentiful plump, juicy fruit growing on their fruit trees.
Jonathan apple samples were available today, but instead we decided to buy a brand new apple variety grown this year at Cherry Hill called “Sweetie”. Perhaps it’s the name that caught my (Brooksyne) attention since we often use that endearing pet name for family members back home in Oklahoma. Sweetie apple is known for its intensely sweet taste and crunchy texture (royal gala and braeburn are the proud “parents” of this new hybrid). We also selected another new apple called “red rubin”, sweet and crunchy as well – which we thought the best of the two new hybrids.
Not only is it a great sight to see large, colorful, juicy fruit hanging from a healthy fruit tree, but it is also inspiring to observe a believer who is fruitful in their Christian walk both in word and deed. One of the common words used in the Bible to describe the healthy life of a faithful believer is “fruitfulness” so let’s consider the blessing of spiritual fruitfulness today.
There are basically two senses of spiritual fruitfulness in the New Testament:
1) Fruitfulness in the sense of impacting others to follow Christ and discipling them, which we may refer to as being the fruit of one’s ministry. Paul used this sense in writing to the Romans (1:13): “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.” One of the great joys of ministry is the observation of seeing healthy fruit in the lives of those we have served through our years of ministry.
2) Fruitfulness in the sense of developing Christ-like characteristics in our lives: John the Baptist stated, “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” In Galatians 5:22,23 Paul wrote concerning the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.)
Today let us consider these questions for self-examination.
- In my life am I bearing much fruit (abundance)?
- Am I bearing fruit that will last? (endurance0
- Am I impacting others who are staying true to the Lord and bearing fruit?
- Is the Fruit of the Spirit progressively developing in my life?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, You who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until You call me heavenward or until the day of Christ’s return. I willingly submit my will to yours and want to quickly obey Your voice so that I will bear much spiritual fruit. I pray that the Fruit of the Spirit will characterize my life as I faithfully yield to the work of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Yesterday in our travels through Lancaster County we intersected with this young man comfortably seated on his lawn chair as he transported the skids on his wagon.
Val-Co engineers, Chris and Stephen, prepare this fan display for a trade show.
We missed the great corn harvest yesterday while at work and came home to see a freshly “mowed” field across the street. It looked rather bare toward sunset, but then we noticed there were paragliders filling the sky. What a beautiful sight that was!