Summary: Jesus tells us that we’re expected to "bear fruit." What does that mean and how can we do it so that we honor His desire in our lives on this matter?
OPEN: Back in the 70’s, a man and his wife were driving to thru Cape Cod, when they spotted a field loaded with blueberries. They stopped and proceeded to eat their fill. As they turned back to the car, the husband noticed that the rear door was open. In the back sat a Cape Codder munching away on the cantaloupe that they had bought at a fruit stand.
“Hey,” shouted the husband, “that’s my cantaloupe!”.
The old fellow swallowed the bite he had in his mouth and, with a nod in the direction of the field replied, “Them’s my blueberries.”
APPLY: Those tourists had treated that field of blueberries as if it belonged to them. But the field didn’t belong to them. The blueberries didn’t belong to them.
I. Likewise… there are people who forget that God is like that farmer: He owns everything. He owns everything because He created everything.
And, even more importantly, He owns us.
When we became Christians we gave ourselves over to Him. When we confessed that He was now our Lord and Master, we were declaring that we now belonged to Jesus. When we were buried in the waters of Christians baptism, we “put on Christ.” We said to Christ – “you own me.” “You own EVERY part of me.”
Paul writes in Romans 7:4 “So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to… him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
In other words: Jesus died for us… He bought us… AND because of that He “owns us,” and has the right to expect that we will bear “Fruit.” He has every right to expect that we will be productive with what He has given us.
IN FACT: throughout Jesus’ ministry, He constantly talked about the fact that we should bear fruit:
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit— fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Matthew 12:33 "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.
John 15:4-5 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…
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: bearing fruit is a serious thing with God!
II. That brings us to our text this morning…
AND I specifically want us to look at Mark 4:8
“Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."
Now – what does that mean?
ILLUS: One man I read, pointed out that “Reaping more than we sow is fundamental law of the harvest. Every farmer lives by this principle. If his work only returned exactly what he had planted in the ground, his labor would be futile. He would never gain anything extra from his efforts so that he could use it to feed his family or sell it for a profit.
Consider the potential of one kernel of corn. One kernel of corn will produce one corn stalk. Each stalk produces one ear of corn. The average ear of corn has 250 kernels, so that a single kernel of corn will yield a 250% increase.”
Now… different plants will have a different numbers of kernels or seeds depending upon what type of plants they are… BUT, they will all produce a crop THAT IS MORE than what was planted. Or… as Jesus said they grow and produce “a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times” Mark 4:8
So, what Jesus is telling us is this: if the true seed of the Kingdom has been planted in our hearts
… we will bear fruit,
And WHEN we bear fruit, it will be yield far more than the single seed that was planted in our heart.
That is what God expects of us. He expects us to bear fruit.
III. So, what constitutes fruit in our lives?
Well… there were three things that I could find described in Scripture.
1. 1st - We’re expected to bear fruit in our attitudes