A FRUITFUL NEW YEAR
(John 15:2, 5) . . . fruit . . . 5 more fruit . . . much fruit
I love to work out in the yard. I not only enjoy the maintenance but just about everything else, such as planting, pruning, etc. And when you put the time into it, it looks great! Instead of going into the house because you can’t stand looking at the weeds, you stroll around and just enjoy your environs. And maybe even a neighbor or passerby might even comment or ask for some of your fruit. And that is a picture of the productive Christian life. So, with the new year upon us, what should we be thinking about when it comes to being fruitful for Christ?
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: (Gal 5:22-23) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control . . . I think the greatest evidence of being a Christian are these nine inner qualities that are produced as a result of the Spirit working in and through our lives. Let’s pray we can grow in each one this year so the world will pick our fruit and know that in this life character really does matter.
FRUITS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: (Phil 1:11) being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. This speaks of the evidence of right living. This brings glory and praise to God and speaks to the ungodly that there is a righteous God who rules the world and has laws, and that we will be held accountable. Let’s make this year the year of doing the right and avoiding the wrong, in the strength of the Spirit who will enable us.
GROWING IN BEING FRUITFUL: Jesus gave a progression to the Christian life. He mentioned fruit, more fruit, and much fruit in that order. That means as we go on in the Christian life, the Lord will cause us to be more and more fruitful for Him, just as a fruit tree grows. That’s what I want to be this year. “Oh God, make me fruitful for You!”
BE WILLING TO BE PRUNED: (John 15:2) Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Have great expectations this year but don’t expect everything to turn up roses. Remember there are times in the Christian life when the Lord cuts out the overgrowth. It sure doesn’t feel good, but just think of the fruit that will grow in bunches like never before!
KNOWING PEOPLE BY THEIR FRUIT: (Mat 7:20) Therefore by their fruits you will know them . . . (Mat 7:17) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Don’t be impressed by the exterior of a person. All the outer impressive stuff is going to fade away someday. Celebrate personal integrity and moral uprightness, not what a person can do with their talents or looks. And let’s choose our friends, associates, and love interests accordingly. And if people pick on you, just remember, all they will find is good pickins! (Dan 6:4)