Wednesday’s Encouraging Word – Where’s Your Fruit?

Good Fruit Takes Time

Where’s your fruit? What fruit are you producing? Are you trying to produce apples from orange trees?

When God created man, the first thing He said to him was, “Be fruitful…” (Genesis 1:28 NKJV). Jesus echoed His Fathers words in the John when He said, “I chose you…that you should…bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16 NKJV).

You Are To Go

That’s why before leaving this world, Jesus took His disciples to one side and prepared them for the problems they would face after He was gone: “I am the vine; you are the branches…apart from Me you can do nothing. I chose you…to go and bear fruit; fruit that will last” (John 15: 5,16 NIV).

Two Points Of Fruit Production

Through this emphasis, Jesus is teaching two important things:

1) You can only discover who you are when you have a relationship with Him. “Apart from Me [Jesus], you can do nothing.”

When you toss your time with Him to one side, you can end up trying to do things in your own strength that only God can do! Like me, you’ve probably experienced this when you tried to solve your own issues your own way.  Have you ever tried to gain man’s affirmation through self-promotion and clever strategies? You can’t be blessed in any way because of self-performance; you’re blessed because of your relationship with Jesus and as a son and a daughter of the highest King.

Unless you understand that, you’ll waste your time chasing people who have no more power than you do! Your strength, success, hope, and future are in Christ, the One True Vine, so stay connected!

2) Before you fully develop the fruit that remains, you may lose the fruit that’s temporary.

“He cuts off every branch that…bears no fruit” (John 15: 2 NIV). You can be a good branch, connected to a good vine, bearing good fruit, then suddenly God may start pruning certain areas or things in your life. Why? Because He wants to produce even more good fruit in you for you to be able to give it away!

Without periodic pruning, a vine will only produce a fraction of its potential harvest. Remember that vineyards have only one purpose and that’s to produce grapes, and any energy spent on anything else is just wasted!

Four Things A “Pruner” Will Think Of

The “pruner” will always have four things in mind: to remove what’s dying or dead; to make sure sunlight gets to the fruit-bearing branches; to increase the size and quality of the grapes; and finally, to help new grapes develop.

His plans for you are always good. He is doing this to make room for the kind of abundance Jesus redeemed you for. He will cut away the parts of your life that are draining precious time and energy from what’s truly important to Him. To accomplish this, He will risk that you may misunderstand some of His methods.

Pruning Is A Good Thing!

Think about that—that’s OK with God. He knows that if you just hang in there, you will soon discover that His true purpose for your life sometimes requires the cutting away of bad habits, poor attitudes, wrong relationships, misguided priorities, and anything that distracts you from your highest calling, in other words, anything that keeps you from looking and acting more like Him.

There Is Always More Room For Growth

It takes humility, trust, and faith to believe that God may want you to lose what you’re so proud of and to say goodbye to what you draw your security from. And the reason is you ask? His purpose is to give you something far better and more fruit— an enduring kingdom success. As difficult, and cliché, as it may seem, “Let it go.” And when you do, God has something better to give you.

Seasons Are For A Reason

So if God is pruning you, pay attention and don’t waste this season of preparation! You need to stay close to His heart and His ways. If you continually draw spiritual nourishment from Him each day, it will allow you to draw on the power that flows through Him which will then flow through you. He doesn’t want anything to remain in your life that will keep you from reaching that abundant life Jesus promised.