WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FRUITFUL? – PART TWO
Welcome, friends, to today’s broadcast. Today, we shall be concluding the topic we commenced last week, What Does it mean to be Fruitful?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FRUITFUL?
Let us pray.
Heavenly FATHER, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, we bless YOU for yet another opportunity to bring YOUR Word to YOUR people. And I pray, O GOD OUR father, that in this teaching YOU will motivate YOUR people to aspire to a life of spiritual fruitfulness that will glorify YOU…in JESUS’ Mighty Name we pray. AMEN!
We will be reading from Galatians 5:22.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Recall that we said that we said that, We can see fruitfulness in two ways:
I. One way is, to bear fruits of the spirit. – Galatians 5:22 says, The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
Fruit therefore refers to good deeds: good character.
Good deeds depict the character – the attributes of GOD.
Titus 3:14 says,
14 And let us also learn to maintain good works, for necessary uses, that that they be not unfruitful.
When these things are not there you are unfruitful: when there is no love, when there is no joy, when there is no peace; when there is no patience, kindness – the person is unfruitful.
ii. We said that, Winning souls is also fruitfulness. We can also see fruitfulness in terms of ministry, especially our evangelistic efforts.
22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
HOW TO BE FRUITFUL
1. Allow GOD to prune you. GOD prunes us so that we can bear more fruit. In John 15:1, the Bible says,
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
JESUS says, I Am the true vine; MY FATHER is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
So pruning is the removal of parts of plants, usually branches or branch tips, to relieve the burden on the remaining parts of the plants, to cut out diseased or broken parts, to increase the quantity and quality of flowers or fruit.
Removing unproductive parts of our lifestyle will be similar to pruning. When JESUS prunes us HE cuts out parts of our lifestyle that saps away our attention or energy that can be better channeled to bearing fruits for HIM.
2. Remain in JESUS or abide in JESUS.
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
So we are told many times if we want to be fruitful we have to remain in JESUS.
What does it mean to remain in JESUS? So this is the second part of this message.
I. Spending time with GOD.
When JESUS was on earth no matter how busy HE was HE always set aside time to be with the FATHER. We may think that we are too busy in the ministry to engage in less productive activities like spending time with GOD.
Why is spending time with GOD so important? If we do not spend time with GOD we will soon lose the passion – the zeal that we need to go on with, and gradually gradually we stop serving GOD altogether.
So let me ask a question, Are you taking time to spend with GOD every day? Do you find time to spend with GOD every day?
II. The next thing that shows that you are remaining in JESUS is to advance your personal holiness – your personal holiness: your sanctification. John 15:7 says,
If you remain in me and my Word remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
Remaining in HIM is more than just spending time praising HIM and praying to HIM. The verse above tells us that it also involves HIS Word remaining in us. We have to know HIS Word; and this Word has to remain or make an impact in our lives. It is not just ‘in-through-one’ or go-into-one-ear-and-leave-through-the-other-one.
1 John 3:24 says,
Those who obey HIS commands live in HIM, and HE in them.
Do you have a regular time of reading GOD’s Word? And, is the Word making an impact in your life? Is your lifestyle controlled and modeled by the Word of GOD? Have you been making changes to your life on the basis of what you read in the bible? Or is it all head knowledge? Personal holiness is so important in wining souls: because if we have a bad character people will look at us and will not want to be like us – they will not want to be Christians.
In John 15:9 it says,
- “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
- If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remained in his love.
III. Finally, remaining in HIM also means remaining in HIS love. When we remain in HIS love HE blesses our tasks, and we become fruitful. We remain in HIS love by obeying HIS commandments. So have you been allowing GOD to correct your life? Do you have a regular time of confession and making your life right before GOD?
2 Timothy 2:21
And of course this forms the basis of our Ministry.
If a man cleanses himself from the latter he will be an instrument for noble purposes made holy, useful to the Master, and prepared to any good works.
Do you know one thing that, the process: the destiny of GOD for any man is:
GOD wants that person to be saved.
The next stage is to be sanctified. So sanctification makes him to be like CHRIST. It sets him apart as he sets himself apart.
And then the third stage is service. You begin to serve GOD.
So salvation, sanctification and service – but in our time we alter it: we alter this process or procedure. And it does not work.
Sometimes you get salvation, you proceed to service – You are not pursuing sanctification – and of course the service you render will be wasted. It will not receive any reward because it will be like, depart from me you that work but live in sin. You do good, but you live in sin.
As we bring this message to a close I want you to ask GOD to show you HIS strategy. JESUS says, you are MY friends: if you do what I command. That’s John 15:14. And in verse 15 it says, I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business; instead, I have called you friends – for everything that I learned from MY FATHER I have made known to you.
Friends, we are not servants who carry out tasks without knowing what the master has in mind. JESUS considers us HIS friends, and HE wants us to know HIS FATHER’S strategy. GOD wants to show us HIS strategy and how we can be more effective in winning souls for Him.
And as I close, I want to ask you, have you ever asked GOD to give you souls? Ask GOD to give you souls: give you souls – so that you will be fruitful: so that you will be a soul winner – being fruitful.
In John 15:16
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit— And that the fruit will last—then the Father will give you what you ask in MY Name.
We did not choose ourselves. GOD has chosen us and appointed us to go and bear fruits that our fruits will remain.
It seems to state the obvious. If you want more fruits ask for it. Many of us do not have fruits because we simply do not ask. JESUS says that if we ask anything in HIS Name we will receive it. Asking in HIS name means asking according to HIS will and using the authority of HIS Name. We ask for cars, we ask for children – we ask for this and ask for that: we do not ask for souls, fruits.
I pray that today you will be motivated to ask GOD to give you fruit.
John Knox of the Presbyterian knelt down and asked GOD to, give me Scotland. Was he asking for political position? No: he was asking for souls – the whole of Scotland. And of course GOD answered him.
Hear what the bible says in Psalm 2:8
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,
The ends of the earth your possession.
Do you want your city? Do you want your family? Do you want your office to come to know JESUS – the people you work with in your office? Do you want the people – your neighbours in the market to know JESUS? Then ask for it. Ask for it! Do you want your students to know JESUS? Ask for it; ask GOD to give you the lives of your students as fruits. That is the desire of GOD
Let us Pray.
Heavenly FATHER, since it is YOUR Will to make us fruitful, I pray, Mighty FATHER, that YOU will motivate my hearers, especially those who have received salivation and are sanctified by the Word of GOD, that they will move up to the steps of being fruitful…in JESUS Mighty Name I pray. AMEN!