John 15:5 (NLT)
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
When God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, He was talking about more than producing a generation of children. He was talking about power, authority and dominion. It was a mandate of blessing where one sows and reaps in their effort. God was telling this couple to go and prosper. However, rather than cultivating a potential harvest they decided to consume the forbidden fruit which has produced generation after generation of impoverished souls. Your current situation is not necessarily a result of sin committed by Adam and Eve. Your current predicament is the inability to move out of the original sin into the future that has been secured by Jesus Christ. We live in a society of consumption not big on planting. We want it all and we want it now. There is no such thing as patient endurance. We lose our sanctification if we must wait in line or on hold for more than ten minutes. When cash flow is restricted, we turn to credit to have what we want when we want it. Jesus has told us that He is the Vine and we are the branches. We must learn to remain in the Lord and let the Lord live in us to bear much fruit. Separation from the Lord renders us barren. Think about it – there are many in this day that call out “Lord, Lord” but never experience any kind of spiritual breakthrough living in supernatural poverty. Looking for worldly satisfaction, they live with an impoverished soul. If it is true (which it is) that apart from the Lord we can do nothing, then it may be time to evaluate our connection to Jesus Christ.
John 15:1-4 (NLT)
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”
A pastor once said, “If you are asking the Lord for something and He is not responding, maybe the problem isn’t with God but you!” God is the gardener who cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit which means God expects us to produce in our life. He prunes the things in our life that keep us from prospering body, mind and Spirit. His ultimate goal is that we will become engrafted in Jesus Christ and never mistaken for a useless branch. The problem is that the godly have taken to living among the weeds in life. We love the lie more than God’s Truth. We cry out to the Lord for His Intervention but are disappointed when the Lord begins to prepare us for prosperity. Salvation is the starting point of fruit production for every believer. It is the point when we offer our life for the life of Jesus Christ. In humble submission, our life is no longer our own. We are now expected to bear fruit. (Matthew 3:10) Those who have truly given their heart and life to Jesus Christ cannot help but prosper. The difficulty seems to lie in the “remain-in-me-and-will-remain-in-you” part. Faith requires effort to constantly invest all of me into all that He is. Maintaining righteousness and our identity in Christ becomes difficult when faced with the darkness of this world and harsh reality of life. However, fruitless Christianity is not an option but viewed as complacency. God is not a fan of complacency and likens it to vomit. (Revelation 3:16)
Ezekiel 47:11-12 (NLT)
“But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”
To bear fruit does not require a change of environment so do not expect God to immediately change your situation or circumstances when you are saved. This is not always the case. It is up to God’s People to remain in Jesus Christ allowing the Lord to take those troubles and bring out His Good. (Romans 8:28) This is a godly harvest. To prosper does not require a change in the atmosphere it requires a change in you! When you decide to attach yourself to God in righteousness through the Grace and Love of Jesus Christ, you made the commitment to bear fruit in your life. Those who choose to remain faithful to this commitment and remain connected to Jesus will experience fruit with the power to provide, prosper and heal. With it comes the joy and peace that only God’s Kingdom can afford.
John 15:6-8 (NLT)
Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Simply being saved is not enough. Oh don’t get all religious, if we do not take the time to work our salvation with fear and trembling, I wonder if we really got saved to begin with? There is no such thing as a non-productive Christian, believer or disciple. The Lord has painted a clear picture of what will happen in complacency. “Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch…” But those who choose to dig deep roots of humility into their relationship with Jesus Christ accepting nothing less than God’s Very Best by submitting their ENTIRE life to the Lord – they will ask for anything and IT WILL BE GRANTED. Are you producing Godly Fruit today? Does your life bring glory to the Father or are you living in a condemned field bent on destruction? Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown away, but those who remain in me and my words in them can have it all.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
If your ultimate goal in life is to bear fruit that can be eaten, you have clearly missed the mark all together. Jesus appointed us to produce “lasting” fruit. (John 15:6) We are called to bear fruit in EVERY season good or bad, favorable or unfavorable, whether we feel like it or not. (Psalm 1:1-3) Planting and replanting the smallest seed of faith until it begins to grow into a prospering oak of righteousness planted in the Kingdom of God with wide branches for those who are in need physically, spiritually and emotionally. The fruit of our lives is not always about us. Most of the time it is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ evidenced by a life that prospers in season and out of season. When Jesus encountered the fig tree full of leaves but lacking any form of sustenance, the Lord rebuked it killing it instantly on the spot. (Matthew 21:18-19) So much for prideful, hypocritical Christians who seem to have it all together but have nothing to offer the needy, broken and dying people of this world, the Lord has no time for that. Humility before the Lord allows us to submit our life to holy cultivation (Psalm 37:11) and have the prosperity of God in the Land of the Living. The fruit that we are after is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We must keep planting seeds of faith as we wait for God to bless us in our waiting.
Psalm 128:1-2 (NLT)
How joyful are those who fear the LORD—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Making the commitment to produce God’s Fruits in your life allows you to prosper from the inside out. No longer will you require the things of this world to have joy and prosperity. You will find it in Jesus Christ. God created you to prosper spiritually and then naturally. If you do not make the commitment to produce spiritual fruit, you risk removal from the vine because God identifies His People by their fruit. (Matthew 7:18-20) Many years ago, I changed religions. First I made a church change then I made a heart change. No longer do I evaluate my life by what I can do but by the Word of God. Now the doctrinal change greatly concerned my grandmother whose relationship with the Lord was unquestionable yet rooted in that old time religion. To calm her fears I told her to evaluate my life not by those who I worshipped with but by the fruit born in my life. Over the years, her opinion would change as she could see the fruit of the Spirit begin to grow and develop in my life. If we would focus more on proving by our life that we are His Disciples rather than arguing about the finite details surrounding religion, the church would begin to bear fruit. However, our need to be right outweighs the need for righteousness making our connection to Jesus Christ a religion and not a relationship.
Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Unless there is seed, there will be no prosperity. You must give God one-tenth of your time, talents and treasure for the simple fact it belongs to Him. Doesn’t matter if He needs it or wants it, it is the Lord’s. Why would God prosper a thief? When you do not surrender the portion of your seed to God that belongs to the Lord do not expect Him to bless the ninety percent that He has given you to keep.
Isaiah 32:9-11 (NLT)
Listen, you women who lie around in ease. Listen to me, you who are so smug. In a short time—just a little more than a year—you careless ones will suddenly begin to care. For your fruit crops will fail, and the harvest will never take place. Tremble, you women of ease; throw off your complacency. Strip off your pretty clothes, and put on burlap to show your grief.
Careless Christians will not prosper. You have to plant to harvest. The church has become lazy and complacent. Grace has become our doormat to come and go from darkness to light as we please. We cultivate seed in this world than look to God for a harvest. That would be like me going to another city to plant a field of corn and then looking out the back window of my house hoping it will grow. Seed grows where it is planted. Seed left in the packet will not spout. When God gives you seed, you need to sow it. Lazy believers will not bear fruit. It is an act of love AND labor as we work diligently to remain in the Word of God, following the Way of God, doing the Will of God. Discipleship requires effort. It is time to take notice before it is too late for the harvest takes time to grow. Fruitful land requires faith full farmers. (Jeremiah 2:7-8) “Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.“ (Colossians 1:10) It matters how you live. Let me say it again…IT MATTERS HOW YOU LIVE. Does your life produce fruit? The fruit of the Spirit is revealed in the life of every disciple. You cannot be part of His Kingdom and not bear fruit. You will be cut off and cast off. If the Word of God lives inside of you, then you will bear fruit. You cannot help BUT bear fruit as His Love prospers inside of you and is harvested in your life!
Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT)
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus Christ is the Word of God wrapped in the flesh. His Spirit lives in the heart of every Child of God. We have the potential to produce much fruit. His Word ALWAYS produces fruit. It WILL accomplish God’s Purpose. It will prosper wherever God sends it. He put it in your heart, head and hand. Read it. Receive it. Regurgitate it. Do whatever it takes to make your mind, soul and body agree to accept nothing than God’s Very Best! You will bear fruit when you remain in the Lord. You will bear fruit when the Lord remains in you! You will be blessed in the city and the field. Blessed when you come and when you go! (Deuteronomy 28) Your current situation and circumstances have no bearing on your ability to produce godly fruit and prosper. All environments are conducive to harvest when the Lord is there. It is His Promise in His Word which will accomplish all that God intended when we enter the production process of God! You will have a productive life!
Jeremiah 7:17-18 (NLT)
“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.”