October 16th to 22nd 2017

TOPIC: What Must I add To My Faith To Bear Fruit?

Text: John 15:16
Last week we look at the parable of the sower which is one of the most thought-provoking parables Jesus shared with His audience. 50% of the effort of the sower yielded no fruit. The first 25% did not respond for lack of understanding, so satan stole the seed from their hearts. The other 25% received the Word and showed promise, but after the seed sprang up, the persecutions associated with the Christian life killed the seed, and the resolve to continue the Christian life. Of the other 50% who received the Word with New Life in their hearts, 25% did not bear fruit because they permitted legitimate concerns of life to crowd out their fruit bearing efforts. Their concern was with the cares of life and that restricted their service to God and their worship of God. Only 25% of the people who received the Word of God in their hearts were able to bear fruits. This means that 75% of Christians do not make the Father happy!

The Father’s heart
The question is, how does Heaven look at a Christian who does not bear fruit?
Luke 13:6-9 has a telling parable of how much the Father wants His children to bear fruit.
It takes a maximum of about 5 years for a fig tree to mature and produce fruits, so the owner of the fig tree was not impatient with his fig tree because fig trees have long juvenile years compared to other fruit tress. If the tree is properly cared for, it will produce fruit from three years.

After year five still the famer does not see his tree produce any fruit; the subsequent years bring no change to the situation… for seven years the tree still does not bear fruit; the disappointment of coming each year and finding no fruit would not be tolerated by the farmer any more, the tree had to be cut down! In verse 8, the keeper pleads for one more year, promising to dig around and to fertilize it a little more with the hope that it will bear fruit the following year.
If the owner was so disappointed in his unproductive tree how much less is the Father disappointment in His unproductive children? After 5 years, 6 years, 7 years or even 10 years of a Christian life, with the infilling of the Holy Spirit, are you bearing fruit? If you are not producing fruit, what kind of fertilizer do you need to help you to be fruitful?

2 Peter 1:5-11 provides us with the “digging and the fertilizing” that we need to produce fruit.

1. Diligence: The first thing to keep you from being unfruitful is to know that the Christian life requires persistent effort. When the going gets tough and everything is calling on us to quit, quit, quit. Never, never, never give up!
2. The common denominator is our faith. As believers and Christians we all have faith, but we need to add virtue to it; virtue is behaviour showing high moral standards for it is impossible to convince people around you if you lack virtue. If you have no moral standards you will not be able to win family members and friends to Christ because they always see you.
3. Then add knowledge, which are fact, information, skills acquired through experience or education. Without knowledge you become susceptible to deception which is rampant in these end times,
4. Add self-control to your faith. The ability to control especially your emotions and desires is vital for stability in your life.
5. Add perseverance; persistence in doing something despite the difficulties and delays in achieving it. Lack of perseverance will let you quit. They stop tithing because they do not see immediate benefit. They stop serving because of a few difficulties.
6. Add godliness; work on being godlike, devout and pious. Do not give in to those who tease you that you are too spiritual. You cannot be worldly and hope to bear fruit.
7. Add brotherly kindness, which is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.
8. Add love, the agape love which really is shed in our heart, but we have to tap on it and use it as the Holy Spirit helps us.
To make your calling and election sure, please use the above as a measure and guide for fruitfulness in the Lord. The Father wants to see you yield thirty, sixty and a hundred fold of fruits. May the Lord help us not to be cut down as a believer who is cumbering the ground.