As a church we do a five minute message on Sundays to allow the church members to share what the Lord is saying to them and to encourage the church. These messages have been stirling and well worth listen to (or reading in this case). This blog is the message given by Chris Hackwood.
Today I thought I'd offer people food for thought. Quite literally as I've brought along some fruit in this bowl beside me, feel free to take one if you like.
You may be wondering why I've just done that. Well it may surprise you to know that these berries came from my garden. The bible often refers to Christians as people who bare “good fruit” indeed Psalm 1:1-3 states “they (Christians) are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail”. There are many more references to Christians bearing this fruit and this is all very well and good but what is good fruit and how can we grow some?
The bible comes to our aid once again first by explaining in John 15:1-16 “a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me” This makes it clear that it is Jesus who helps us bear fruit which is helpfully described in Galatians 5:16-26 as “when the holy spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law”
Of course every gardener knows the secret to producing great fruit and veg. Hard work. This is also true of Christians wanting to get to know Jesus better and see his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Again like gardening it requires good foundations on which to grow. It is useful to have support particularly in the early stages, so joining a church and taking part in small groups and discussing issues with Christian friends is important, equipping us to go out into the world to do God's work. Substance is also essential for healthy growth and development, it is this we get, in many ways: from God, from the bible, from Christians, from church, from nature, indeed anything that we do helps us develop, even mistakes as we can learn from know knowing God works good through all things.
I would also like to point out here that toiling away and working at producing fruit can be, at times, stressful, tiring and painful and the devil may try and use this to distract you. I know in the past this has led me to become idle but I can assume you like the fruit I've just handed out. It is most definitely worth the wait. Some fruit may take longer to produce and the yield may change but it is always satisfying and exciting to see it happen. So keep your heart on God and you will produce fruit of your own.
(image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)