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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Bear Fruit or Shrivel"

Date published: 04/30/2018

Luke 13:6-9 “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any.  Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” (NIV) 

   The principle of being fruitful is crucial to the life of every Christian. Do not read beyond this verse without reflecting on the fruit God is bearing in your life. You should value living a life that is fruitful because God commands it. Also, fruitfulness reflects a heart that is intimately walking with God; it allows you to be God’s hands and feet in this world. Bearing fruit will enliven your faith and walk in Christ.  In John 14:16-17, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to you so that you could be fruitful, “... The Father will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth…  You know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.” (NIV) The essential ingredient for experiencing God is the Holy Spirit producing fruit through you. A Christian life that bears little fruit results in a stale faith that is experiencing little of God. Jesus died that you might be a vessel of the living God rather than merely an accumulator of knowledge from sermons, Bible studies, and spiritual discussions.  

   Commit now to becoming more fruitful like the man in Luke 13:9 did, “leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it.” Ask God to show you the doors in your life that, if opened, can lead to fruitfulness.  Begin to see peoples’ hearts and needs rather than just their actions. See new Christians as babies in need of nurturing through discipleship. See Christians bearing little or no fruit as opportunities to disciple into fully devoted followers of Christ. See the lost in terms of their eternal destiny. Respond to the ministry opportunities for which God has given you a passionate heart. The opportunities for being fruitful are endless. Just listen, hear, look and pray... then respond. Some opportunities take minutes and some a lifetime. Your job is obedience, while trusting God to make it happen. Finally, produce fruit with excellence. Fruitfulness is not a “to do” to checkoff; it requires placing yourself in the hands of God for His use. Train, plan, prepare, and learn whatever is necessary to be used more effectively by God. Luke 6:40b teaches: “Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (NIV) God wants your investments in life to have eternal significance. Spiritual knowledge is wonderful and necessary, but it can quickly become lifeless outside of a fruitful walk with Christ. 

1 Corinthians 2:5 “That your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.” 

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