Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bearing Fruit

I think I've mentioned a time or ten that I am doing Beth Moore's "Stepping Up" bible study at church. This morning in my study, I worked on Psalm 128. In studying this psalm, Beth led us to John 15: 1 -8......You know what it says, right? It says that Jesus is the vine and that you and I are the branches and that we are to bear fruit for Him.

Bearing fruit.....that is really what it's all about isn't it? If we are following Jesus as we should be our lives - our every day lives - will bear fruit for him. What bears fruit for the Lord?

One of the things that Beth Moore spoke of is that God has appointed us to go bear fruit. He has given each of us spiritual gifts to use for HIS glory and she said that He intends us to turn our life experiences into testimonies and minister to others through those them.

Jesus gave the great commission and said "Go and make disciples of all nations."

One of the ways that we do that is by living an authentic life.....walking in His ways.

We won't be making disciples for the Lord if we go to church and put on our "Christian clothes" then leave the building and forget about God and HIS ways until next Sunday morning when we walk in sporting our best pious expression again.

No, abiding in the vine means that we are staying in His word, walking with him on a daily basis. Trying to be more like Him. As Mrs. Moore said in my lesson today, we stop to ask ourselves, "What respects God most and reflects His ways?"

Wow! What a thought. How often do we do that? How often do *I* do that? That person -- the one who takes the time to stop and think about God's ways -- that is a person who will bear fruit.

* When this person is faced with a confrontational, angry person that is accusing them of things will stop and think about how God is.....Psalm 103: 8 says "The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love..."

* When this person is in a group of people who start talking bad about someone else, they will instead choose not to participate in the gossip.....and maybe even speak up and not allow slander to happen. Proverbs 10:18 says ....."slandering others makes you a fool." One of the 10 commandments is "Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (exodus 20:16).

* When at a party and alcohol is flowing freely, this person chooses to stop and think about what God says about the situation and decides to follow what HE says instead of jumping on the bandwagon of things that are permissible (and even promoted) in our culture. Galatians 5: 19 - 21 says " When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God".

* When this person is tired and in a long line at the grocery store and someone cuts in front of them in line, they stop and think about how God would have them respond instead of being rude and angry. 1 Corinthians 13: 4 says " Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged."

* When this person is going to the movies and the movie is full of s*x, bad language and violence....this person remembers that God says we should dwell on good things and chooses to do the hard thing and not go to that movie. Philippians 4: 8-9 reminds us "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. "

The list could go on and on couldn't it? Just a little aside here, in order to be like GOD,we have to KNOW what HIS ways are and how He would handle order to know that we have to read our bibles.

Am I this person? Do I do these things all the time? Unfortunately, no. BUT -- I long to be! Authenticity is a theme God has in my life right now. I want to be this person.....the person who stops before reacting to a situation and instead responds in God way. I want to bear fruit for HIM!

And by his grace, I can do that.

John 15: 1-8

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

I want to be a fruit bearer, a true you?


realestategirl said...

Wow, excellent post! It's been a while since I've blogged and/or stopped by, but I'm so glad I did today!

Hope all is well with you!

"Rachel" said...

I just started this study myself! I first read about it here on your blog and then I found an old workbook at our church and it was like God was saying, "DO IT!!!" I'm only on the 3rd day but I've already gotten so much out of it!

This was a really excellent post!