April 10, 2016

Fruit Filled – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Dunkin Donuts makes a really, really delicious concoction, a donut that is beyond good. The secret…fruit filling. We all know that. What you may not know is that the idea came from Paul, who got it from the Holy Spirit. Aha.

having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:11)

In fact, similar ideas are planted throughout the New Testament.

Jesus taught that He was the vine and Christians are branches that are expected to be filled with fruit (“much fruit.” John 15:5).

Paul taught the Philippians that the fruit filling came through Jesus Christ. Likewise, Jesus said …

“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).

Not only does our spiritual existence, our life come from Christ, but the ability to produce godly fruit can only come through Him.

Several years ago in Texas, my next-door neighbor had the most impressive fig tree I had ever seen. (I planted three, which promptly died.) When fig producing season came, it was awesome. Some branches were so full of fruit, they were in danger of breaking. Visitors would comment, “Wow! Just look at all that beautiful fruit.”

We know talented, productive Christians like that. Some of them, and the rest of us, need to be reminded…

“…As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me…,for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5).

The Corinthians thought Paul and Apollos were really something. Paul rebuked them, and taught that they (themselves) were nothing.

“What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” (I Corinthians 3:5-7)

Isaiah taught that “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;” (Isaiah 64:6)

That helps us understand the appropriate results of impressive, abundant Christian fruit. Not sticking out our chest and saying, “Look at me.” Rather, as Jesus taught, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit,” (John 15:8). We, ourselves, are nothing and can do nothing. Jesus is everything and through him we “…can do all things through Him who strengthens…” (Philippians 4:13) Therefore He and Father are glorified (not us).

Some Christians have been given wonderful gifts (like the ability to grow fig trees). Some of us have to sit back and say, “Thank God.” To the gifted Paul reminds…

“What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (I Corinthians 4:7)

Paul produced much fruit and understood that this was the “ballgame.” This is what Christians are about. It is what they do. It is why Paul wanted to go to Rome.

“…I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, …” (Romans 1:13)

As Paul indicates here, the primary fruit of Christians is another Christian. By this standard, Paul was a very fruitful Christian. How about you? Failure is not an option.

“…he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 “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.” (John 15:5-6)

We have no choice. Let’s roll up our sleeves, get busy working so that we can reap a glorious harvest.

“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. …“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:8, 11)

Don’t leave out the filling.

 

 

 

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