Summary: We all know the Psalm 1 and John 15 passages on fruitfulness but Jesus gives us a deeper insight on this subject from a dynamic parable in Luke.
Charles W. Holt
Community of Grace
Feb. 17, 2008
(A definition: fruit·ful ( fr›t“f…l) adj. 1. a. Producing fruit. 2. Producing something in abundance;. 3. Producing results; profitable. See note at fertile (American Heritage Dictionary)
I want us to read what I believe is a very familiar passage of Scripture that is found in Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV).
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
I will not use this passage as a text for today’s message but I want to bring it to our attention because it expresses the heart and soul--the essence--of what I want to speak on this morning.
+ Walk not in the counsel of the ungodly
+ Stand not in the way of sinners
+ Sit not in the seat of the scornful
+ Delight in the law of the LORD
+ Meditate in his law day and night
The unmistakably obvious results that will be manifest by observing that kind of lifestyle is described as:
+ Being like a tree planted by rivers of water
+ Bringing forth fruit in its season
+ His leaf will not wither
+ Whatsoever he does shall prosper
There is not a person here today who does not wish that these blessings of health, usefulness, mental, physical and spiritual prosperity would be the story of their life. And the beauty is that these blessing can be ours. Meet the conditions: walk not; sit not; stand not; delight in the word of God; mediate in His word continually and it will happen.
A few Sundays ago I spoke on the subject of BARRENNESS. I keep thinking of those various Scriptures that provide such encouragement and hope for what would otherwise be considered as hopeless, discouraging situations.
For example we learned how the Lord touched the barren wombs of five women of the Old Testament and from their barrenness came some of history’s greatest leaders. There was --
+ Abraham’s wife Sarah (Gen. 11:30)
+ Isaac’s wife Rebekah (Gen. 25:21)
+ Jacob’s wife Rachel (Gen. 29:31)
+ Manoah’s wife who gave birth to Samson (Judges 13:2)
+ Hannah who gave birth to the great Samuel (1 Samuel 1)
+ This is to say nothing of Mary the mother of Jesus or Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:7ff & verse 27ff.)
But it is not my purpose today to revisit those powerful passages. Instead, I want us to look at a few Scriptures found in the New Testament that reveal God’s will and purpose for believers whose aim and purpose today is to live the Christian life as the Holy Spirit has made it known through the words of Jesus and the Apostolic writers of the New Testament. You will notice, as with the opening verses from Psalm 1, that these verses have a single theme: FRUITFULNESS.
After we read a few of these Scriptures I want us to look at a parable given by Jesus that will serve to illustrate what it will take for us to become fruitful and remain fruitful.
Let’s begin in John 15:1-8 (READ this passage)
Turning now to 2 Peter 1:5-9 -- noting especially verse 8 -- (READ this passage)
Let’s hear Paul’s exhortation in Colossians 1:9-12 –noting especially verse 10 – (READ this passage)
And finally from Titus 3:14 we hear the Apostle Paul say: “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful” (KJV). This verse supplies us with a simple and concise commentary on the meaning of being fruitful.
To be fruitful means to “maintain good works for necessary uses.” This can be easy enough to believe but may pose quite a challenge to practice. But practice it we must—and will—if the Lord has His way in our daily living.
Listen now to what Jesus says in the parable found in Luke 13:6-9 (NKJV).
(6) He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. (7) Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ (8) But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. (9) And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after thatyou can cut it down.’”