Summary: As branches of the True Vine (JESUS), we bear fruit as we are fed from the Host and obedient to His leading.
April 29, 2018
The True Vine Bearing Fruit
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:8
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
“Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!” Psalm 105:1
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16
Can we bear fruit for our Lord? There are varying ways to accomplish the “bearing of fruit”, but Evangelism and Testimonies are among the best producers of fruit, in my opinion. We can preach and share all kinds of gospel truths, can’t we? We can produce powerful praise and worship music sure to raise goose bumps. But when we can put before a seeker and even a non-believer vivid truths and true testimonies, there is nothing left to question. It then becomes a matter of belief and faith between the receiver and the Almighty Father.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “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. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:1-8
I have personally seen two different people brought back from medically declared death, after fervent prayer. One of which was brought back four separate times. We were blessed to have each of them come and give their personal testimony in our church, in Vermont. They were very powerful testimonies. On our prayer list is a man who broke his back and was completely paralyzed from the waist down. The last time that I heard from his family his recovery process was steady with him now able to move his lower extremities. He believes that with God’s help and his determination, he will stand and walk again. I too believe that with God’s mercy, he will.
The truth of this message lies directly in the quoted Scripture from John 15:5 - “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.”
Allowing God to minister through us is no feat of magic, it is pure obedience and a matter of faith. Let me share some BAD or False means of trying to produce fruit. Many (I mean many) years ago, during a home visit to a man wheel chair bound, a lady in our group walked up to him, laid hands on him and demanded that he get up and walk. There was very little to indicate God’s hand in any of that, it was all her. The visit was a bust! On a river cruise, the emcee/guide was engaging the crowd by asking questions like, “Who lives the farthest away? Who is the oldest among us? But suddenly, this same lady jumped to her feet and bellowed out, “Who among us are Christians?” It was a bust and I was embarrassed for her and that I was even there. Our public testimony is not to draw attention to ourselves but rather to Jesus! If we are successful in providing a view of Jesus, HE will take it from there.
If we can remain spiritually in tune to the Triune God, He will provide opportunities for our testimonies and invitations. On the mission field we had teen groups come and evangelize with interpreters. In the evenings, we would share our experiences while out “evangelizing”. First one and then another would share and even boast as to the number of “new” converts they led to the Lord. I felt compelled to tell them, “We don’t count coup on the mission field!” For one thing, when teams come for the mission experience and go out among the villagers, they will always find willing converts. Why? Because they know how to play the game; they know that the teams bring trinkets and gifts to hand out. A great many of the villagers, most of whom cannot read have in their homes, a New Testament Bible, A Book of Mormon, A Rosary, a cross, etc. and toys for children.