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Theme: The Year of Fruitfulness (2024)

Updated: Jan 2

Bearing Fruit: The Christian Journey of Growth and Abundance


Theme Scripture:

John 15:16 and Genesis 1:28


Definition: A Fruit is a produce of agriculture endeavors from figs to grain.


A Fruit in Greek is Karpós – This is a result of everything done in true partnership with Christ as a believer (a branch) lives in union with Christ (the Vine). When the Lord lives His life through ours it results in us yielding what is eternal (1 Jn 4:17).


A fruit is a metaphor used to describe the outward demonstration of one's inward disposition. You cannot eat a grape from an orange tree. You cannot eat a lemon from an orange tree. Every tree produces its own kind. An orange tree produces oranges. Fruit can be either good or bad.


Jn 15:1,2: "1. I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser. 2. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit (karpós), He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit".


The Greek word for Fruitful is karpophoréō: It comes from the Greek word karpós, "fruit" and phérō, which means "to bring". This means the word fruitful means to be productive; fruit bearing; to be productive; to produce crops; or to produce tangible results in our day-to-day life. In Hebrew the word Fruitful is Parah which means to bear fruit, flourish and increase.


From the Webster dictionary the word Fruitful means to be abundantly productive; yielding or producing fruit. From the Oxford Dictionary Fruitfulness is the quality, fact, or state of being fruitful. The ability to bear quality fruit. In other words, fruitfulness is the quality of something that causes or assists healthy growth or the intellectual productivity of a creative imagination that produces tangible results. It is an extraordinary state of being extremely productive. The opposite of fruitfulness is barrenness.


To be a fruitful Christian, one needs to understand what it means to be a Christian. In order to be a flourishing and fruitful Christian, we must have our identity and character transformed, refreshed, and gradually conformed to the image and likeness of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). It is not done by crossing things off a "to do" list. It’s done by establishing a good relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


The image of God in man and women has been marred by sin (Eph 4:18-19) but through faith in Christ and submission to the work of the Holy Spirit believers can have the divine nature renewed within them (2 Peter 1:14, Eph 4:20-24, Col 3:9-10, Rom 12:2 and 2 Cor 3:18).

 

1.Introduction:

Our spiritual journey mirrors the life cycle of a fruit tree with a dynamic process of seeding, growth, pruning, blossoming, and, finally, the glorious bearing of good fruit and harvest time. A man who is fused with Jesus is a fertile man; he expands, overgrows, thrives, and bears many fruits. The aim of every Christian and believer is to be fruitful. Being a fruitful Christian works from the inside out.

 

2. The Seed of Potential.

In the beginning, God planted the seed of potential within humanity, commanding us to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). This divine command is akin to the planting of a tiny seed. A seed that carries within it the blueprint for a life of purpose, abundance, and spiritual richness. Each one of us is and has a seed of divine potential, waiting to break through the soil of worldly distractions and blossom into a tree that bears good fruit.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us of His plans for us, plans for a future and a hope. Life breakthroughs often begin as tiny seeds, whether it's a newfound perspective, a healing touch, or a dream or revelation that sparks transformation. Recognizing these breakthrough seeds requires a heart tuned to God's leading and a willingness to walk and embrace His plans.

 

Consider the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32. Though small, the mustard seed grows into a large tree, illustrating the potential for greatness even in the seemingly insignificant. Our lives, similarly, hold the potential for profound impact and the bearing of abundant fruit.


The word "seed" in the Bible holds diverse meanings. It can signify a literal seed planted in the ground, as seen in Genesis. Alternatively, it metaphorically represents one's descendants, as in the promise to Abraham. In Luke chapter 11, "seed" symbolizes the word of God (Luke 11:1-23) and spiritual growth (Luke 11:24-40). The ground also reflects the mind and those who embrace and nurture the word of God. In Ecclesiastes 11:6, the word "seed" is used metaphorically, to refer to word of prayer, action or investments that people make whether in business, relationships, or other endeavors. The verse encourages diligence and productivity, emphasizing that the outcome is uncertain and one should not hesitate to engage in various ventures. The concept of "sowing seeds" implies taking opportunities and making efforts without being overly cautious, trusting that some endeavors may flourish. Proverbs 18:20-21 highlight the power of words. It suggests that the words a person speaks can have significant consequences—either bringing fulfillment and nourishment or leading to destruction. The verse underscores the importance of using speech wisely, as it can impact one's life positively or negatively. The words we speak produces fruit. Hosea 8:7 says, “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind..…” Sow something this year to reap something. Lastly, in Galatians, "seed" serves as a metaphor for the Gospel message itself, identifying it with Christ in the context of salvation.


Let us prepare the ground and present our requests to Lord (seeding). There is always sowing (seeding) and reaping time. This principle is irrevocable; there is no escape, either for the believer or for the unbeliever. It is a law of life. We reap what we sow. We reap more than we sow. We reap later than we sow. Consider your sowing time and do not be reluctant be diligent. Galatians 6:6-7


 

3. The Growth in Christ.

John 15:16 illuminates our Christian journey, likening believers to branches chosen for fruit-bearing. As the seed germinates and the sapling emerges, our spiritual journey begins. The soil of faith nurtures our roots, providing the sustenance needed for our life in Christ. It's a journey of growth, not in worldly measures, but in the stature of Christ. Ephesians 4:15 encourages us to "grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ."

 

As the breakthrough seeds take root, our lives begin to undergo a transformative process. Romans 12:2 encourages us not to conform to the patterns of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Life breakthroughs challenge us to grow beyond our comfort zones, allowing God to renew our minds and transform us into vessels that bear the fruits of His glory.

 

A caterpillar undergoes metamorphosis into a butterfly. Similarly, our breakthroughs lead to a spiritual metamorphosis, unveiling the beauty and potential that lie within us.

 

Colossians 2:6-7 urges us to "walk in Christ, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."

 

As highlighted above the growth process is a transformative journey, not only in our individual lives but also collectively as the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:16 paints a vivid picture: "From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." Our unity in Christ contributes to the growth of the entire body, each believer playing a vital role in the flourishing of the community.


 


4. The Pruning Process.

Now, let's talk about the process of pruning. Just as a fruit tree requires pruning for optimal fruitfulness, we, too, experience times of divine pruning. Hebrews 12:6 reminds us that the Lord disciplines those He loves. The pruning may seem painful, but it is an act of divine love. God, the master gardener, carefully trims away the dead branches—habits, attitudes, and relationships that hinder our spiritual growth. The pruning process is not a punishment but a preparation for a more abundant harvest.

 

No fruitful tree escapes the pruning shears, and neither do our lives. The pruning process, though at times uncomfortable, is an essential aspect of our journey. John 15:2 highlights the significance of pruning: "Every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." Through trials and challenges, God prunes away the deadwood—habits, attitudes, and relationships that hinder our spiritual growth.

 

In Isaiah 5:1-7, the vinedresser expects a harvest of good grapes, and when the vineyard yields wild grapes, he takes action to prune and care for it. In the same way, our Heavenly Father prunes us, expecting a harvest of good fruit.

 

Consider the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. Joseph's life went through a series of pruning experiences—betrayal, slavery, and imprisonment. Yet, through God's pruning, Joseph emerged as a mighty tree of influence, bearing fruit in the form of reconciliation, provision, and salvation. There is no glory without the pain. There is a prize for every stage that you achieve in live. No pain, no glory.

 

Just as a fruitful tree undergoes pruning for optimal growth, our lives often face the pruning shears of adversity. James 1:2-4 encourages us to consider it pure joy when we face trials, for they produce perseverance, character, and hope. Life breakthroughs often emerge from the ashes of adversity, refining our character and preparing us to bear fruits that withstand the test of time.

 

5. Blossoming Flowers of Spiritual Beauty.

As the tree matures, it produces blossoms, mirroring the beauty of a life aligned with God's purpose. As we delight in the Lord, we become like a watered garden, a spring of water whose waters never fail (Isaiah 58:11). Our lives, nurtured by the Living Water, blossom into a display of spiritual beauty and abundance. Isaiah 61:3 speaks of those who are called oaks of righteousness, "They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." Our lives, like blossoming flowers, become a display of God's splendor, attracting others to the beauty of His grace. These blossoms are the manifestations of an inner transformation and transition. Our lives become a fragrant offering, attracting others to the sweet aroma of Christ. The beauty of a life surrendered to God is depicted in Psalm 92:12-14, "The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green."


 

6. Blossoming Testimonies.

The breakthroughs in our lives should become powerful testimonies, declaring the victory of God's transformative work. Revelation 12:11 reminds us that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Our individual stories, marked by breakthroughs, become a living testament to God's grace, mercy, and redemptive power.

 

The encounter of the woman at the well (John 4) with Jesus, led to a life breakthrough that transformed her into a bold witness. Likewise, our personal breakthroughs empower us to share our testimonies, inspiring others to seek the transformative power of Christ.

 

7. Bearing Good Fruit in Abundance.

Finally, the pinnacle of our journey is the abundant bearing of good fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 outlines the charismatic fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These fruits are not mere charismatic gifts but charismatic manifestations of the Holy Spirit working within us. Just as a fruitful tree blesses the land, our charismatic lives are meant to be blessings to those around us.

 

Our good fruit is not limited to spiritual gifts but extends to acts of kindness, generosity, and love. James 3:17-18 says, "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

 

Consider the powerful imagery in Psalm 1:3, "He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." As we remain rooted in Christ, we become like trees planted by streams of living water, yielding fruit in due season and prospering in all we do.

 

In John 15:5, Jesus declares, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." Our breakthroughs are intimately tied to our connection with Christ, and as we abide in Him, we bear the abundant fruits of a transformed life. As a church let us recognize the breakthrough seeds that God is planting in our lives. Let us know that adversity is not the end but a pathway to growth. Let your testimonies be a beacon of hope, and may the fruits of the Spirit flourish in your life, declaring the goodness and glory of our Lord. May our lives be living parables of breakthroughs, testifying to the power of God's transformative work in every season.

 


8. Conclusion

Let us allow the potential within us to sprout, grow, and flourish. As we submit to the planting of seed (word of God (Luke 8:11-18) or word of prayer (Ecclesiastes 11:6)), germination, growth and pruning of the Holy Spirit, let us be transformed into mighty trees bearing charismatic fruits that testifies to the goodness and glory of our God. May the Lord give us an abundant harvest of good fruit. May we, as branches, remain connected to the true vine, Christ Himself, and bear fruit that lasts for the glory of God.

 


Amen.

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