Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Fruit Is A Product Of The Root

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."  – John 15:5

 I am watching some tomato plants growing outside of our kitchen window.  They seem to be struggling a bit.  I see blossoms but then no fruit – no tomatoes.  They are getting plenty of sun and water.  They are in good soil. But then I think, maybe it is not the soil, sunlight or water – maybe it’s the plant. Jesus spoke of Himself as the Vine and us as the branches which produce fruit. To continue that analogy a little further – the Father is the root – that to which the vine is connected and finds its sustenance. The Spirit is what makes the fruit on the branches possible.  Everything is connected and dependent upon the Root.  So then, what value is the branch if there is not fruit – the very reason why there is a branch – the branches fulfillment of its purpose is to produce fruit.

 Translate that my life, and yours.  If I am not connected to the root through the Vine, there will be nor fruit.  Or said in another way, if I am not connected to the Father through the Son by the Spirit  - there will be no fruit – I will not fulfill my God-given purpose. These are some words that describe our God-given purpose – Light, Unity, Love, Sacrifice, Obedience

 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

 If you are silent when others are treated badly – in the face of wrongful actions – you have put your light under a basket.

 “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,  with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:1-3

 If there is separation in the Body of Christ because of race or nationality or economics or denomination how then can we say that we are spiritual if submission to the Spirit brings unity?

 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35

 If we say that we love, but refuse to show that we love by ignoring the struggle of others, we have deceived ourselves.  The love of God through the Saints is a verb not a noun. It is an action not an attitude.

Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” – John 21:15

 Jesus is saying if you truly love Me – then show Me – the proof will be in how you love and care for my sheep.

 No greater love has one man than this, then to lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

 Are you willing to sacrifice  your comfort for the benefit of another person – someone that you are not biologically related to but spiritually you are family?

 So Samuel said: ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.’” – 1 Samuel 15:22

 If you think that going to church, to Sunday School, on a mission trip, or paying your tithe is all that God expects of you  - you have missed the point. God – the Root – wants to see the fruit – which is manifested in how you relate to the Body of Christ – not just the people who look, talk and worship the way you do. It always amazed me that people would come to a country like Haiti and love on the children – share the Gospel with the people – but would not even consider walking to the other side of the road or town in their own country to get know people – Christians of a different ethnic origin.  Thinking they have nothing in common – when, in fact, they have the most important thing in common – faith in Jesus and unity by the Spirit.  

 This seems to be a time for the Church to do a self-examination. Instead of condemning the culture we live in and feeling proud that we are not like “them”, we should, instead, examine our hearts, our motives and our devotion.  Why is the Church fragmented? If the Spirit brings unity – then fragmentation can only be because of a lack of the presence of the Spirit.  Lord help us!

 By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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