To start at the beginning of the series, “Called to Bear Fruit Abundantly.”
Yesterday, we looked at John 15:1-8. I mentioned that the fruit that we were to bear refers to a thought, an attitude, behavior or good works. The fruit that we are to bear should being glory to God and help others to believe in Him, through our actions.
Today we are going to talk about the first of three things that must take place before bearing fruit:
I. WE MUST BE LIFTED UP FROM DIRT
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit…” ~ John 15:2a (NIV)
Sin is like the soil that is covering the grape leaves. Air and light can’t access, therefore the branch withers and no fruit grows.
If you look up “cuts off” in the original language it actual means to “lift up”. It is an unfortunate interpretation rather than a clear translation. This means that when a branch falls on the ground and becomes dirty, God does not throw them away or abandon them. God lifts them up, binds their wounds, and helps them flourish again.
God does this through discipline us! Discipline is what happens when our loving Father steps in our lives to lift us away from our destructive and unfruitful activities.
“Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” ~ Deut. 8:5 (NIV)
“And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” ~ Hebrews 12:5-6 (NIV)
God disciplines us to get our attention. This is not for God’s pleasure. No loving parent will ever enjoy disciplining his child. The Father will never discipline you out of anger and selfish desire. He will never lose control.
It’s all up to you! You have the choice to end or to prolong the disciplining act of God. What do we need to do when we are being disciplined? We should repent!
True repentance changes our mind by making a bold decision to turn away from the sin that enslaving us and hindering us from bearing much fruit. Repentance is not just a one-time act. It is a lifestyle, an ongoing commitment to keep putting aside our disobedience and rebellion and receive God’s forgiveness.
When we allow God to discipline us, we not only overcome sin in our life, but we also grow in maturity, making us to be more like Jesus.
Continue to “Called to Bear Fruit Abundantly – Part 3“