Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples

BEARING FRUIT

Life In This World

BEARING FRUIT

 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”     John 15:5

Strangers from ignitermedia on GodTube.

There is a great vine in the Hampton Court Palace Gardens of London and it is believed to be the oldest known vine in the world.  It is over 230 years old with hundreds of branches that can be as long as 120 feet.  The base of the vine is 12 feet around.  No matter how far removed from the vine, each branch bears grapes that are a sweet, delicious fruit, fed by the source.  Life flows from the main vine to each branch to produce several tons of grapes each year.

In John 15, Jesus illustrates the same principle when He says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”  The concept is simple: the branches connected to the vine thrive and bear fruit but the branches not connected to the vine wither and die.  The fruit of our life is completely dependent on our connection to the vine. 

The Bible mentions fruit mainly in connection to the fruit produced in our life (i.e. Fruit of the Spirit-Galatians 5) and in the making of disciples (reproducing ourselves in others).  Ironically, you cannot make or force either of these to happen but can only participate with Christ in the bearing of fruit in your life.  Have you ever tried to make a plant grow faster or a tree produce its fruit out of season?  We can only prepare the soil, nurture and care for the plant and trust that growth will take place.  The same is true for our lives.  You cannot will love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control into existence. Your work is to stay connected to the Vine.  You cannot argue or force someone into believing in Christ but you can participate with Christ by praying, by always being ready to give an account of the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15-16) and by looking for opportunities to share the love of Christ.  If the fruit of the Spirit is truly evident in your life, those opportunities will come to you more quickly than you can imagine.

Christians today seem to be ignoring the fact that Christ expects us to bear fruit and that this is truly the mark of a disciple. 

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.  My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”   John 15:6, 8

In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus makes it clear that He expects us to be faithful with our time, treasure and talents to bring a return for the Kingdom.  Each one of us needs to ask the question, “Is my life producing fruit for the kingdom?”  Do I see evidence of the Fruits of the Spirit in my life and is my life being reproduced in others?  These are the marks of a disciple (Matthew 28:19-20).

Growing up, most of us had a time where our folks measured our height on a wall or post and made marks with a corresponding date.  Years later it was fun to look back and see how much we grew over the years.  It was very evident and easy to tell just how fast that growth happened.  What about your spiritual life?  If we listed, recorded or described the fruit of your life over the years since you became a Christian would we see growth?   Are you truly different—radically different—than those around you who don’t know Christ?  Who was the last person you led to Christ and helped usher into the Kingdom?  Did you walk with that person, disciple/mentor them to the point of maturity where they became an active disciple themselves?  Are you currently discipling someone?  If you can not answer the above questions in the positive and point to people you are currently investing in, then you should question if you truly understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ’s. 

Think through, today, how you can connect to the one true vine that is the source of all life.  It is time to participate with Christ so that your life can bear the fruit of a disciple.

HMMM {QUESTIONS}

  • What lasting/eternal fruit is being developed in your life right now?
  • Refer to the list in Galatians 5:22-23.  How can you participate with Christ right now to begin bearing more fruit?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

verses related to this topic

  • Psalm 1:3

    Psalm 1:3

    He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.

  • Psalm 92:13-14

    Psalm 92:13-14

    Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green,

  • Matthew 3:8

    Matthew 3:8

    Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

  • Matthew 4:19

    Matthew 4:19

    And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

  • Matthew 5:13-16

    Matthew 5:13-16

    “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

  • Matthew 13:3-23

    Matthew 13:3-23

    And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear." And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.' But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."

  • John 15:5

    John 15:5

    “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

  • John 15:16

    John 15:16

    “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

  • Acts 1:8

    Acts 1:8

    “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

  • Romans 1:16

    Romans 1:16

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

  • Romans 7:4

    Romans 7:4

    Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

  • Galatians 5:22-23

    Galatians 5:22-23

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

  • Colossians 1:10

    Colossians 1:10

    so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

books related to this topic

  • Bearing Fruit in God's Family

    Bearing Fruit in God's Family

    In this book, the Navigators walk through what it means to be a fruitful member of God’s family while at the same time naturally reflect Christ’s character in your life.

  • Out of the Saltshaker and into the World

    Out of the Saltshaker and into the World

    Through stories, biblical insight and plain common sense, Pippert helps us feel relaxed and enthusiastic about sharing our faith.

  • A Simple Path

    A Simple Path

    In A Simple Path, Mother Teresa challenges us to look at what it truly means to love another person.

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