At the beginning of this week I starting sharing with you the lesson that I did for some church ladies on March 11th. You can read the first two posts here and here. This evening, while my daughter is making our very own special Newman Hamburgers and my sweet hubby is firing up the charcoal grill…I wanted to type out the last point of my lesson. :o) Hopefully I won’t smell the burgers way up here and stop mid-sentence and forget all about finishing this post! 😉 There’s just nothing like the smell (and taste!!) of charcoal grilled burgers, now is there?! Mmmmm mmmm good!
Ok, enough about the juicy burgers and back to the lesson…
Since you’ve already read the first two posts/points, I won’t rehash here. We’ll just jump right into the third and last point –
3) Filling the world with fruit…or bearing fruit.
Let’s look at Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man that
walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
These verses start by telling us that we will be blessed if we are NOT walking, standing or sitting in wrong places. But that our delight would be in the law of the LORD (His Word) and we should be thinking about it – meditating on it – day and night. That’s pretty much all the time, isn’t it?
And if we are careful where we walk, stand and sit and we delight in His Word and think about it all through the day…we will be like a tree that’s planted by the rivers of water and we will bring forth fruit in our season. Our leaf won’t wither and whatsoever we do will prosper.
I don’t know about you, but I want to bring forth fruit and I don’t want my leaf to wither and I want whatever I do for the Lord to prosper!
Here’s a really good quote on fruit-bearing that I read somewhere…
Fruit bearing is not a matter of being strong or weak, good or bad, brave or cowardly, clever or foolish, experienced or inexperienced. Whatever your gifts, accomplishments, or virtues, they cannot produce fruit if you are detached from Jesus Christ. Christians who think they are bearing fruit apart from the Vine are only tying on artificial fruit. They run around grunting and groaning to produce fruit but accomplish nothing. Fruit is borne not by trying, but by abiding.
We cannot bear fruit unless we abide in Christ – the Vine! We need to be delighting and meditating in His law day and night. John 15 is a chapter that talks about abiding in the Vine, which is Christ. And if we don’t abide in Him we cannot bear fruit. It’s impossible. We may be grunting and groaning and running around tying on artificial fruit, but we are really accomplishing nothing.
We need to abide in Christ…everyday. Every single day.
And we will bear fruit and our Heavenly Father will be glorified…oh what a glorious thought!
Abiding in Him and bearing fruit for Him…every day. Through the hard times. The mundane, day-to-day times. Through our storms and dark times. Even when all we see is barrenness all around us…abide in Him! Walk with Him! Stay close to Him! Keep your eyes on Him.
For me, part of abiding in Him was choosing not to be mad at Him when things happened that weren’t what I would have ever chosen for my life. Hard things. Heart wrenching things. In my heart I know God is not mean and what He has allowed has been His will for my life and He has a purpose and reason for it all. And it will all work out for my good (Romans 8:28) if I continue to abide in Him.
Letting Him hold me through my storms and hard times. In my mundane, day-to-day times. When all around me looks barren and I see others quitting…with His help, I will continue to abide in Him!
Sometimes our fruit bearing will be for us to speak a word in season to someone that is hurting. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Heaviness in the heart of man taketh it stoop: but a good word taketh it glad.”
Please pray and be sensitive before you say anything to someone that is hurting. Think about what you would want someone to say – or not say – to you, if you were in the same situation. Would you want them to quote a verse lightly and flippantly? Maybe what God asks you to do will force you out of your comfort zone, but let Him use you and your talents in ways He couldn’t use someone else. Whatever you do for Him will be fruit that will fill the face of the world!
Even when you can’t see any results, will you still let God use you? Leaving the results with Him. Maybe God will let you see the results, but it will be later down the road…years later.
When our son Benjamin passed away, we couldn’t really see anything “big” that the Lord had done in someone’s life…something that we could look back at and say, “That’s something the Lord did through Ben’s illness and death.” No great revivals broke out. No one at the hospital got saved.
I know God didn’t have to do anything special and if He did, He wasn’t obligated to show us…but I’m so thankful that about 13 years after Benjamin went to Heaven, God in His great goodness wanted to show us something that He had been doing all along.
Our family was attending a camp meeting at a church about 8 hours away from where we lived. One afternoon (I believe it was after lunch), my daughter Mary came to me and told me that she had just talked with a lady that said they were missionaries because Joe and I had stayed faithful to the Lord even through Benjamin’s illness and death.
You see, Janet and her young son were in charge of their church’s missionary board and they would print and post any new prayer letters that came in. She said she and her son were reading our letters and praying for us and our son as we traveled down the road of cancer with Ben. When she read, three months after Benjamin passed away, that we were on our way to Canada, she told the Lord that if we could be faithful to the Lord through all that, she wanted to be faithful to Him too, no matter what. Not long after that the Lord called her and her husband to be missionaries…to Canada!!!
After my daughter told me all this, she led me to the tent where we ate our meals and where Janet and her husband were sitting. When Janet and I saw each other we just hugged and cried and cried – and her husband sat across the table, with tears streaming down his face, too. There were really no words to say.
You see, God was working, pruning and watering all along and 13 years later He let us see a little of the fruit that was filling the face of the world…and continues to fill the world in ways we may never know.
Will you be faithful and abide in Jesus Christ…and fill the face of the world with fruit?
Like I mentioned before, this lesson is pretty simple and on the “bottom shelf” as some would call it…but sometimes it’s the simple lessons in life that we need and that help us the most.
My prayer is:
If you haven’t taken root, you will call upon the name of the Lord and be saved…today!
If you have suckers and bugs that are hindering your growth in the Lord, you will become aware of them and get them out of your life, so you can…
Fill the face of the world with fruit for God’s honour and glory! Amen!
P.S. The burgers were so delicious!! Wish you could’ve joined us! Maybe next time. 😉