Summary: We are created to bear fruit. If you don’t bear fruit then it is a sign that things are not well with you. Fruitfulness should be the purpose of life. In fact, throughout Jesus’ ministry, He constantly talked about how we should bear fruit.
Confronting Our Poverty of Mind
Mark 4: 3-8, 13-20
Brett Blair tells the story of the very first person to reach the status of billionaire. At the age of 23, he had become a millionaire, by the age of 50 a billionaire. Every decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power and wealth. But three years later at the age of 53 he became ill. His entire body became racked with pain and he lost all of his hair. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers. An associate wrote, "He could not sleep, would not smile and nothing in life meant anything to him." His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year. That year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the vague remembrances of a dream about not being able to take any of his successes with him into the next world. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in control of his own life. He was left with a choice. He called his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research, and mission work. On that day John D. Rockefeller established his foundation. This new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria. But perhaps the most amazing part of Rockefeller’s story is that the moment he began to give back a portion of all that he had earned, his body’s chemistry was altered so significantly that he got better. It looked as if he would die at 53 but he lived to be 98. Rockefeller learned gratitude and gave back the vast majority of his wealth. Doing so made him whole. And then Brett Blair writes, “It is one thing to be healed. It is another to be made whole.”
Jesus Christ did not come to earth to heal you but to make you whole. The Greek word for save literally means wellness or wholeness. The purpose of God’s salvation is that you become whole in every area of your life. God wants you to thrive not just survive in life. God wants you to experience health and wealth in every area of your life, Because you cannot be fruitful without first being healthy. Wealth is also tied to your mind as well as your spirit. Last week we talked about the poverty of Spirit which is fed by the cancer of selfishness. Today we are going to talk about the mind and the obstacle to Biblical, financial health which is the poverty of the mind.
Wellness in any area of your life is tied to fruitfulness. We are created to bear fruit. If you don’t bear fruit then it is a sign that things are not well with you. Fruitfulness should be the purpose of life. In fact, throughout Jesus’ ministry, He constantly talked about how we should bear fruit. In John 15:16 He says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit— fruit that will last.” In Matthew 12:33 He says, "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” In fact, Jesus goes even further, declaring "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:1-2) What that tells us is: this bearing fruit is a serious thing with God! We are not only called but created to bear fruit.
Fruitfulness is dependent on many factors. The first is the seed itself. Max Lucado writes, What if I owned a greenhouse that had been given to me by my father? He used state of the art equipment to create the ideal structure for growth. The atmosphere is perfect. The lighting exact. The temperature is suited for flowers, fruit, or anything I want, and what I want is flowers and fruit. You then watch me walk into a field and strip seeds off of weeds. Crab grass seeds, dandelion seeds, grass burr seeds. I fill a bag with the seeds and return to the greenhouse. You can’t believe what you’ve just seen. "I thought you wanted a greenhouse full of flowers and fruit." "I do." Then don’t you think you ought to plant flower seeds and fruit seeds?" "Do you have any idea how much those seeds cost? Besides, you have to drive all the way to the garden center to get them. No thanks, I’m taking the cheap and easy route." And that’s the way it is, we often take the cheap and easy route in the planting seeds. We choose the seeds of the world instead of the seeds of kingdom You have to make sure you’re sowing the right seed. If you sow the seeds of weeds, you’re not going to harvest grain. That seed for us comes from God. John 15:4-5 says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit…”