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Just Hanging Out

Just Hanging Out
Healthy Trees Beget Healthy Fruit

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. John 15:1 (NKJV)

Have you ever seen fruit that fell off the fruit tree before it was ready to be picked?  It stops growing and begins to shrivel up.  It never makes it to maturity as the fruit is severed from the vine and its life source.  That's exactly what our attempting to do good works apart from God's will and timing.  We can attempt to do good things in our own strength and ability but they will always fall short of what God is capable of doing through us.

Jesus gave us a great picture of our relationship with Him as he stated that He was in fact the Vine and that His Father was the Vinedresser.  A few verses later He went on to say that we were the branch and were to abide in Him if we are to bear fruit -  this was the only way to produce fruit.

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. John 15:4-5 (NKJV)

This teaches us to patiently wait upon the Lord, to read His Word, and to Abide in Him.  If we do this, the fruit will follow as a byproduct of our healthy relationship.  This is Great news, as He does the work through us, while those around us see the fruit of His efforts in and through our lives.  Anything more than abiding in the Lord and allowing Him to work through us is simply striving in the flesh.  Besides, I have never passed by a fruit tree and witnessed a piece of fruit striving to become a piece of fruit; it simply hangs on the vine or branch and receives its nourishment until it is ripe.  And so it is with our works and/or deeds as Christians; they should never be a manifestation of our striving in the flesh, but simply byproducts of our loving relationship with our Lord and our receiving of what He is blessing us with.

We should also know that having healthy fruit (Good works) is a true sign of a healthy walk and relationship with our Lord.  Every good tree bears good fruit, and every bad tree bears bad fruit (Matt. 7:15-20).

Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:20 (NKJV)

We need to understand that when there is very little or no visible fruit coming from the life of a believer then there is something wrong and unhealthy going on in their relationship with the Lord.  Something has obstructed or severed the connection to the Vine, and the Holy Spirit is not flowing through to them, the "branch" resulting in no fruit.

We are called to examine ourselves to see if we are abiding in Him; to see if our faith is healthy.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? -unless indeed you are disqualified. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, we should regularly do a "self-examination" to see what type of fruit is coming from our Christian walk.  Is there good or bad fruit coming about from my actions?  Is the Lord glorified in what I am doing, or is it dishonoring to Him?   Is He the one responsible for my good fruit or am I striving in the flesh to manifest these good works?

STUDY QUESTION: Why should we "abide" in Christ?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you producing "good fruit" as a Christian?

APPLICATION: If you feel that the fruit in your life is not as good as it should be, then seek God in prayer; ask for forgiveness of sins, repent of any lifestyle that you know to be unrighteous, and abide in Him.

Father, thank You for the fruit that you have grown through me.  I praise You and give You all of the Glory for it.  Thank You for reminding me that apart from You, I can do nothing.  I seek You today, for Your Holy Spirit to be given unto me in abundance.  May it cause others to see You in me and may Your Son be glorified.  In Jesus' name, Amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000