Colossians 1:10 “We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (NIV)
In the previous four devotions, you learned of God’s imperative to witness and disciple, how you should be on mission for God, the call to cultivate a heart for the lost, and God’s empowerment to do these things. These four teachings are done within the context of not just showing the value God places on witnessing and
discipling, but also how God lives and works amidst those who do it. In this verse, Paul equates living a life worthy of the Lord in terms of pleasing Him and bearing fruit for Him. The natural result of these two traits in a Christian is growth in knowing God. You can reverse this teaching and end up living the Christian life and still not know God and miss His life and work in you. Paul explains in Romans 7:4 that Jesus died that you might be fruitful: “My brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.” (NIV) Fruitfulness in the Christian life is not seen as an optional choice, but a critical necessity by God. If you love God, you will be fruitful.
Matthew 7:16-17 takes you deeper into not bearing fruit: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (NIV) We can easily say this passage was written for those not knowing God, but would it not also be true for Christians living lives that do not please God? Your fruitfulness for God has a direct impact on the quality of your life in Christ. No matter how many sermons you hear, Bible studies you attend, and fellowships you participate in, your life in Christ will be mediocre if you are not producing fruit. The root cause of an unfruitful life is one that has not totally yielded to the Lordship of Christ. Jesus said in Luke 14:33, “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.” (NIV)
Becoming a Christian is easy, but costly to live out. Jesus did not say, “I have come so that you can attend church, attend Bible studies, and casually make Me a part of your life.” Church and Bible studies are great, but they should be an outgrowth of your life in Christ. Your life in Christ means you live first for Him, which results in multiple opportunities to bear fruit and serve Him. Your desire to witness and disciple will flow out of an overflowing experience of who Jesus is in you, what He is doing in and through you, and what He desires for you. Your continued walk with God will be fed by your obedience to be fruitful when God presents opportunities. Do not be like the rich man in Matthew 19:23-24 who was not willing to make Jesus Lord over every aspect of His life. Be a faithful follower of Christ who lives to know and experience Him more and more by obediently stepping into faith opportunities that cross your path. Live for the fruit that lasts – not the fruit that perishes.
John 15:16-17 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. This is My command: Love each other.”(NIV)Do you know someone who needs this message on greater purpose? If so, sign them up to receive weekly or 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 “Transformation – Part 3”
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