Are You Producing Fruit?

Are you producing Fruit?

What’s your favorite fruit? Apples? Oranges? Bananas? What if the fruit was rotten, would you still want to consume it? What if I picked you favorite fruit from a tree that wasn’t the correct tree? For example… what if you favorite fruit was an apple and I told you that I picked it from a cherry tree? Would you still be interested in eating the fruit? Better yet… what if the tree only produced rotten fruit? Would you still want to consume it?

Truth is none of it would intentionally consume rotten fruit especially if it was produced from a rotten tree. Why? Because we know that it could potentially cause us harm. If that is the case, then why are we ok presenting rotten fruit to God? Or even saying that we belong to God and producing rotten fruit? What kind of fruit are you bearing? “Bearing fruit” is a phrase used to describe the outward actions that result from the inward condition of a person’s heart. As Christians, we want to bear fruit in keeping with our relationship with God. We should seek to do things outwardly that demonstrate that we have been made new in Christ.

Knowing that we are to bear fruit we have 4 responsibilites:

      1. Have a well balanced diet

    First we must have a well balanced diet. You can feed your Spirit through prayer and reading the Word of God. God expects us to fuel our spiritual hunger with prayer instead of worldly appetites. In Mark 11, we see that Jesus came to the temple hoping to find a place to pray. Instead, people were exchanging commerce. We see this displayed even today. The gatherings as the Church has been commercialized. Prayer and worship has become worshiptainment. Spiritual hunger was filled with worldly appetites. People in the Church many times aren’t exhorting one another. Instead of a place where one could focus on God, one found worldly people. Thinking that if we just mix a little sugar with it, then it might taste better. Healthy eating requires healthy rhythms. We must have a well-balanced diet. We must feed our Spirit with prayer and scripture reading. This will go a long way in producing healthy fruit.

        1. Hang Around the right People

      Mark 11.19-20 presents us with clear indication that if we want to bear Godly fruit, we have to be around the right people. When this event was over, they didn’t go to their own homes and live in isolation. Instead, they came together. Early in the morning they came together. They spent time with one another. They did not go somewhere else for spiritual nourishment. They didn’t find it in isolation. Get this… Fig trees require cross-pollination, a lone fig tree cannot produce fruit. And the same is true with believers. Believers can not grow without other believers. We were not created to be on an island. We were created for relationship. We need one another. We are in this together. We need people around us to push you to grow in Jesus and you push them to grow in Jesus.

          1. Trust God

        Producing fruit requires that we trust God. true Bible faith is not blind optimism or a manufactured “hope-so” feeling. Neither is it an intellectual assent to a doctrine. It is certainly not believing in spite of evidence! That would be superstition. Faith simply means that I trust God to help me do what He calls me to do. We have to trust that God knows what He wants us to do in life. We can’t see ahead in the journey, but God can. We have to trust him for the little steps and the big steps in life. True Bible faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences. Faith operates quite simply. God speaks, and we hear His Word. We trust His Word and act on it no matter what the circumstances are or what the consequences may be. The circumstances may be impossible, and the consequences frightening and unknown; but we obey God’s Word just the same and believe Him to do what is right and what is best. The unsaved world does not understand true Bible faith, probably because it sees so little faith in action in the Church today. The world fails to realize that faith is only as good as its object, and the object of our faith is God.

            1. Practice Forgiveness

          Bearing fruit in the Christian life is not about doing works or attempting righteousness in our own strength. Rather, it is about intentionally growing in our walk with Christ, inviting the Holy Spirit’s work of transformation in us, and actively obeying God in all He calls us to do. Where spiritual growth is present, there must be fruit. We produce fruit by having a well-balanced diet, hanging around the right people, trusting God and also practicing forgiveness.

          Did you know that you fruitfulness is directly connected to how you forgive? You can’t be fruitful when you are harboring all of this unforgiveness toward others. Scripture says that if we want to be forgiven by God, we have to forgive others. Are you harboring unforgiveness in your heart toward others? What makes it difficult for you to forgive? What are some steps that you can take to forgive.

          I want to encourage you… You forgive now so that it will not hinder you from producing fruit. We wouldn’t want to produce rotten fruit, therefore we shouldn’t want to present rotten fruit to God our others.

          (Scripture to help think through this are Mark 11.12-26, John 15, 1 John 1, Hebrews 10:25-26, Matthew 21)

          – Pastor Michael T. Byrd Sr.