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"Bearing Fruit - Part 1"

Date published: 12/29/2015
Matthew 11:19b “But wisdom is proved right by her actions." (NIV)  

   Last week’s devotion gave five important truths in becoming more effective for Christ. For the next four weeks, we will explore the reasons God wants us to be effective for Him in fruitfulness. It is not enough to say you are a Christian and that you love God; ultimately the sincerity of your heart is revealed by the fruit that God is able to bear in your life.  John wrote in 1 John 3:18 “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (NIV) Jesus had three definitions for a disciple:  

·          A disciple is one who loves, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples , if you love one another." John 13:34-35 (NIV)

·          A disciple is one who obeys, "If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31b-32 (NIV)

·          A disciple is one who bears much fruit, “This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” John 15:8 (NIV) 

  All three definitions of a disciple depend upon the intimacy of your relationship with Christ. In John 15:4 Jesus taught that fruit can only be born out of a deepening relationship with Him, “Remain in Me, and I will 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.” (NIV)  Out of the intimacy of your relationship with Christ you begin to take on the single characteristic that best represents Christ – love! As the depth of your relationship with Christ grows, love becomes a consuming force that overwhelmingly dominates your motivations. Out of this ever-expanding love you take on the second trait of a disciple – to obey. Love will put you in situations and opportunities where you will want to obey because you love your Lord; that love requires involvement, response, follow-through, or some other type of action. This is best typified in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:27-35). The good Samaritan could not walk by the man in need; he was moved by love to act by taking care of that man. It was not enough for the two religious men who passed him by to say they loved him, to tell him they would pray for him, and would ask special prayers for him when they got to church. Intimacy with Christ bears love (John 13:34-35), love produces obedience (John 8:31b-32), and the result of obedience is fruitfulness (John 15:8). Next week we will discover three of the nine reasons God desires for Christians to be fruitful. 

Psalm 92:13-14 “Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.  They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” (NIV) 

Do you know someone who needs this message on being used by God? If so, forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ. 

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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