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Three Secrets of a Fruitful Life

On nine consecutive recent Sunday mornings I have listened to sermons on the fruit of the Spirit. These have been followed by nine mid-week group studies on the same theme. I came to the conclusion that fruit bearing is high on God’s agenda. We are saved to bear fruit for His eternal purposes. Because it is the fruit of the Spirit, we are unable to produce it ourselves, but we are responsible to prepare the ground in order for the good fruit to grow.

The Great Vine in Hampton Court Palace Gardens is over 280 years old and is still producing prolific fruit. Someone once told me that one of the secrets of the vine’s success is that its strong roots are bedded in the River Thames. Similar the fruit that God looks for in our lives can only be produced when we ‘Let our roots grow down into Him (Jesus) and build our lives upon Him’ (Colossians 2:7, NLT).

When Jesus told His disciples the allegory of the vine and the branches (John 15:1-14) from which our scripture for today is taken. He was on His way from the upper room, where they had shared the last supper, to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He prayed in agony before going to Calvary. They were possibly passing a vine on the roadside, which Jesus used to show them that the purpose of their lives was to bear fruit that will last. Jesus shared with His disciples secrets of a fruitful life.

Firstly, there is pruning by the Father. The vine dresser does two things to ensure that there will be as much fruit as possible. He cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit and he prunes every fruitful branch. The branches He cuts off probably represent people who have a form of godliness but are not true disciples.

But I wonder if it’s possible that we who profess to be disciples of Jesus are carrying dead wood which needs to be cut off, such things as addictive sin, bitterness because we’re unwilling to forgive, or idols (things or people which have first place in our lives).

The gardener also prunes the fruitful branches so that they can become more fruitful. Sometimes He uses pain, sorrow, sickness, suffering, failure or disappointment. Sharp pruning is painful, but it will result in in a life of fruitfulness if we learn from it.

The second secret of a fruitful life is that we remain in an intimate relationship with Jesus (John 15:4-5) and realise that without Him we can do nothing. To remain in Jesus is to be single minded and steadfast, instead of changing with our circumstances. It is to be surrendered to the Holy Spirit who changes us so that we grow in fruit bearing and bring honour to Jesus.

The third secret of a fruitful life is praying and obeying (John 15:7 &10). Answered prayer and obedience are closely linked in Scripture. If our hearts are set on obeying Jesus, He calls us friends and assures us that what we ask for in His name will be given to us. This, of course, is not self-centred prayer, but prayer prompted by the Holy Spirit for the glory of Jesus.

We did not choose Jesus, but He chose us to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. Jesus ultimately laid down His life for us. Can we do anything less that lay down our lives for Him?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love gift of Jesus to a lost world. Thank You, Lord Jesus, that when You returned to heaven, You left us the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable us to live fruitful lives. Please help me to surrender my life more fully to You today so that I will bear much eternal fruit and bring honour to You. Amen.
 

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Scripture

You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:16-17, NIV

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Today's Writer

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.

Margaret Silvester


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