TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, October 07, 2019:
Producing good results; beneficial, profitable, abounding in fruit; producing abundant growth.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundred-fold, some sixty, some thirty.
I am the vine you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
We want to look at the word fruitful today as it refers to being spiritual fruitful. In the verse above (John 15:5), Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches and if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit. When we read these words, we think of bearing fruit producing spiritual results as relating to bringing others to know Christ. As believers that is what we are called to do.
The key words in this verse are "abide in Him." Abide means to remain or stay close to. We are to stay close to Jesus like a branch attached to a vine. Abiding in Him gives evidence to our salvation and results in us bearing fruit. This fruit is not just soul winning but abiding or remaining in Christ which produces spiritual fruit that includes spiritual attitudes of love, obedience, faithfulness, honesty and a desire to continually serve the Lord.
The apostle Paul tells us that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, fruitfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22). Abiding in Christ also produces the fruit of righteousness which not only changes our attitudes but also our actions.
In Hebrews 12:11 we read, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful." Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
When we think of being fruitful, we think of a farmer. For a farmer to be successful he must have productive fruit bearing crops. To accomplish this, he must have the right soil, rain, sunshine, seasons, cultivation, and then the blessing of God. Even a farmer today who is not a believer in Jesus will tell you that he needs the blessings of God on his crops if they are to be productive. He may refer to "Mother Nature" because he does not know God, but what he is really saying is that he needs God to bless his crop to have success.
When one becomes a believer in Jesus he or she must first have a deep desire to abide in Christ and to live a life that honors Him so that one's life can be fruitful. Our desire should be "to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10).
As do the farmers, a believer must have the right soil; a personal relationship with Jesus. They must have the rain and sunshine; this is the daily communication with God through prayer and reading God's Word. Then there must be the sowing and the cultivation; the going out among the world and walking in your faith and talking about your faith in Christ. Finally, you need the blessing of God. It is God's blessing that brings a bountiful fruitful harvest. This is an earthly example of how God works to enable us to be fruitful.
Do you want to be fruitful? Are you committed to serve God with all your heart, soul and mind? Have you experienced fruit in your Christian life? Read John 15:5 and you will see what the Lord says you need to do to bear fruit. Bearing fruit is not an option given to the believer. Our Lord expects us to bear fruit and He is abiding in us to make us fruitful for He knows that without Him we can do nothing.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Galatians 6:7.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Help me and my family today to abide in You. It is our prayer that as we endeavor to abide in You that You will abide in us so that we can be fruitful in furthering Your kingdom. Help us to exhibit the fruit of the spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in all we do.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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