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Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24, esv).

In God’s economy, “fruit” is the evidence of a life changed by Jesus Christ. And when it comes to bearing fruit—bearing “much fruit,” in fact—the Bible clearly reveals what our lives as believers should be sprouting and blooming and growing.

The fruit of . . .

People won to Christ. Paul said to the church in Rome, “I have often intended to come to you . . . in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles” (Romans 1:13). He knew if he could ever reach their city, people would come to Christ through his life and witness, because he was accustomed to seeing “harvest” from the amount of seeds he planted. So, what about us? You? Me? How many people in the world today are following Christ because you are following Christ? That’s proven fruit of a believer.

“Are you steadily becoming more like Jesus and less like the world?”

Holy living. “Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Romans 6:22). Are you steadily becoming more like Jesus and less like the world? You’re not perfect, of course—none of us are, and none of us will be until we reach the goal of “eternal life.” But you should be seeing a growing pattern of surrender and obedience; a curve in the direction of holy living.

Good deeds. Among the goals of following Christ is “to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work” (Colossians 1:10). Acts of kindness, acts of forgiveness, acts of service performed for the sake of Christ and for the benefit of others. How often, and how much more naturally, are you initiating these types of actions?

Character. Being attached to the Vine and being fed by His Word have the spiritual effect of producing “the fruit of the Spirit,” which includes “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). Can you point to evidence that these character qualities are becoming more consistently descriptive of you?

Praise to God. Scripture exhorts us to “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Hebrews 13:15). Perhaps you recall a time when worship felt awkward, when it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. But has knowing Him increased your desire and delight in worship, both personally as well as with other believers?

If you’d admit your faith in Christ isn’t exactly resulting in fruit of this shape and size, the good news is that it can. Die to a life that’s focused on yourself, and you’ll start to see the blossoming evidence of God’s transforming work in you.

Journal

  • What’s your assessment of yourself in light of this type of fruit that characterizes believers?
  • What kind of joy, fulfillment, and encouragement have you experienced from seeing this fruit in your own life?

Pray
Lord, thank You for enabling Your children to produce fruit that glorifies You. I am so aware that I cannot create fruit by my own power, but thank You that as I surrender to and obey You, You will cause me to flourish in all these areas. Please help me to desire You above any pursuit or escape that doesn’t result in developing character, serving others, and making disciples. Make me a fruit-bearer in Your kingdom, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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