Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. Luke 3:8
John the Baptist had started his ministry and was baptizing people with water. As he was doing this, many people came to see him. Many were thinking that they were Abraham’s children and did not need to change anything. He told them to start producing fruit with the repentance that they were doing.
Fruit trees that do not produce fruit are worthless. They become just another tree that takes up space and maybe offers a little shade, but they are not doing what they are meant to do.
People are to be just like the fruit tree. They are to do something of value. Repenting of sin is something that is easy to do, because it is just saying some words. It is admitting one is wrong and saying he is sorry for it.
However, repentance is much more than just being sorry for a sin, it is a turning away and producing new fruit.
In the Bible the people talked about being the children of Abraham. Today people talk about their parents being a believer, or a pastor of a church. Or some will say that they are a member of some church. These things do not make a person a believer and does not show any fruit in one’s own life.
The fruit that needs to show up is the fruit of the Spirit. There is to be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and more. There needs to be a greater hunger for God’s word. There needs to be a desire to tell others about Jesus. There needs to be a change of character.
If you have repented and chosen to follow Jesus, you must take a look at your life. Are you showing a change in your life, by becoming more like Jesus everyday?
Are you producing fruit in your life?
If you are not producing fruit, God will be upset with you. You have become just a dead tree in His garden. In the end, God will have to cut you down if you do not produce any fruit.
Seek God and His ways to produce fruit. Be willing to be changed by God and made useful today.
I pray today that you will allow God to produce fruit in your life; that you will be used by God to make more disciples; and that people will see Jesus in and through you.
What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? Isaiah 5:4
God had built Israel up from a small group of people who were really nobody important. He provided everything that they needed. The nation was very strong and had abundant protection and food. There was absolutely nothing that they needed that God was not willing to provide.
Yet, the people turned away from Him and began to follow idols and other gods.
As God looked down upon Israel, all He could see was corruption and sin. There was no good fruit being produced in the land. This led the Lord to destroy Israel. He would bring destruction and death across the entire nation. The purpose of the destruction was to wake up the people and get their focus back on Him.
Israel was not the only nation that God had provided abundant blessings for, only to be rejected. Nations today are in the process of rejecting Jesus more and more each day, chasing their own sins. Many of these nations had followed God as a whole at some point in their history.
It is easy to look at the nations as a whole and see nothing but corruption and sin. Many try to blame the government or corporations for all of the sin being done. However, each of those nations are made up of individual people. It is the individuals who actually do the sin and promote the sin.
Now the question comes down to the individual. Jesus had died on the cross and rose from the dead for each and every person on this earth. He provided salvation for everyone who would accept it. If He can provide eternal life, the things needed on this earth are small and easy to meet.
Jesus said that you are not to worry about anything, that He would provide for all of your needs. Since God is providing for all of your needs, are you producing fruit for Him?
Is your life one of being a daily witness to this fallen world?
Or is it focused on pleasure and meeting personal needs?
What more can Jesus do for you, so that you will give Him your everything?
I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know what God provides for you; that you will produce fruit for God; and that you will be His witness to everyone you meet.
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” Colossians 1:9-10
Paul had heard that the Colossians were believing in Jesus and were working at spreading the gospel message. Their belief in Jesus was not just with words, but came with action. He tells them that he and others are praying for them to know the will of God.
Knowing God’s will can only come by the wisdom and understanding that the Holy Spirit gives. Only the Holy Spirit can fully understand God. Man’s finite mind cannot fully understand the infinite God. His Holy Spirit can break that down for man to understand.
The purpose for knowing the will of God is not to be puffed up and think that one is special, but to live a life worthy of the Lord Jesus and to please Him. People who have great knowledge often try to be in control of others with that knowledge.
You are to use the knowledge of God’s will to spread the gospel message. Every believer is supposed to bear fruit in this world. The fruit is showing love and compassion to others, and to draw others to Jesus and into a close relationship with God. The more knowledge that you have about God the more you will know what He desires. God’s whole focus is to love people and help them be the best that they can be by knowing and loving Him. He wants every person to have the abundant life that Jesus provides.
Why do you want to know God’s will? Is it only to look out for yourself? Or to use it against others?
Or is it so that you can show others who God is and bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus? Is it so that you can live your life the way God wants you to live it?
I pray today that you will know God more and more; that you will know His plan for your life; that you will live your life according to God’s will; that you will bear fruit for God; and that your life will please God.
“So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” Romans 7:4
Paul had just talked about marriage. He points out that a person is married until death. At the point of death, that person is released, by law, to marry someone else. Prior to death, any re-marriage is committing adultery.
In this passage he points out that in the same way every believer dies with Jesus in order to belong to Him. A believer in Jesus has died to the old law.
The old law only brought about death, it could not bring life to a person. Once a person sinned, he had to die.
Once a person is dead to the law, he is raised to live a life for God. He is expected to bear fruit for God.
The fruit for God is a wide range of things that portray Jesus in a person and to the world. When being like Jesus, the first thing most people think about is being holy and not doing any sin. While this is correct, there is much more to bearing fruit for God.
One must also be active in doing things for God. Changing your thoughts to line up with His; telling others about Jesus; serving others; caring for others; worshipping Jesus; praising God and many other things.
All too often people believe in Jesus, but stay dead. They do not live for God. They just go through the motions. There is no fruit in their lives.
What are you doing for God today? Are you living for Him? Or are you living for yourself?
Are you still living in death? Or have you died in order to live for Jesus?
As a believer you are dead to sin and alive to Jesus. Are you living that way?
I pray today that you will die to sin; that you will allow God to make you alive to Him; that you will live for Jesus; that you will live to bear fruit for God; and that God will use you to reach many for Jesus.
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:8
Jesus just finished talking about how He is the vine and all believers are the branches. We, as believers, are to bear much fruit. Now He states that the fruit all believers bring about is for the Father’s glory and shows that they are really His disciples.
God sent Jesus for the purpose to save all the people in the world. He was not sent to the earth just to have a good time or to just to spread peace and love. His purpose was to destroy sin and save the people.
Many people look at just the love aspect of the message of Jesus. The world loves to look at the part that everyone is to love everyone else. This is a major part of following Jesus, but it is not everything.
Both Jesus and the Father wants you to bear fruit, and not just a little fruit, but lots of fruit. Look at the life of Jesus. In just the few years He ministered on the earth He brought about a lot of fruit. This was in a time where there was only walking for getting around, no cell phone, internet, computers, or television.
Jesus brought about much fruit by talking directly with people, interacting with them. Today you can do the same thing. God has blessed His people with being able to use many methods to communicate, and to communicate faster and to more people at once.
If you are doing the same thing Jesus did, the Father will be glorified. God was pleased with Jesus because He was doing what He was sent to do.
Now that you are a believer in Jesus, you are sent to do a work. That work is to bring others to Jesus, to save the world. God will be glorified when you are doing that work. The more people brought to the knowledge of salvation in Jesus, the more the Father will be glorified.
Is your life glorifying God today? Are you producing fruit? Or are you just coasting through life?
I pray today that Jesus will show you ways to produce much fruit; that you will show yourself to be a disciple of Jesus; that you be a light of Jesus in this world; and that God will glorified through your life.
“He cuts 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.” John 15:2
Jesus is stating that He is the vine and God the Father is the gardener. In this verse He is talking about branches that produce and do not produce fruit and what happens to each. A few verses later Jesus points out that all believers are the branches in Him.
People who are good at gardening fruit trees know that not every fruit tree will produce fruit or will continue to produce fruit. When they get a tree that is not producing it is cut down to make room for a new one that will produce. There is no room or purpose for a fruit tree that is not producing fruit. It is worthless.
The trees that are producing are kept, but need to be touched up on occasion. Not every branch on a producing tree will produce good fruit. Parts of those branches tend to die off and need to be removed. This is the pruning part.
If pruning is done correctly on a fruit tree, a good producing tree will begin to produce even more fruit. If one does not prune, the production levels will actually get lower.
Since all believers are branches in Jesus, and are producing some fruit, Jesus is working to get them to produce even more. You are one of those branches.
The pruning that Jesus may be doing is cutting out things in your life that get in the way of producing good fruit for God. These could be physical things, attitudes, other people, and sins.
Being pruned may not always be pleasant at the time. Any time you get cut it will hurt some. Pruning is just cutting off dead parts of a plant.
As you are going through tough times, realize it could be Jesus trying to prune you to be even better. Do not be angry about the pruning process. Do not feel worthless because of the pruning. It is just God’s way to make you an even better producer.
Trust the vine, Jesus, and the gardener, God, in that they know what they are doing. They are the Master Gardeners.
I pray today that God will prune you to be even better than before; that you will accept the pruning in your life; that you will be willing to produce greater fruit each day; and that Jesus will build His kingdom through you.