1. We cannot produce fruit in our own strength or by our own actions.
Isaiah 40:29-31 says “He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
1 Timothy 1:12 says “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord because he trusted me and gave me this work of serving him. He gives me strength.”
- It is the Lord who gives us the strength and ability to do all things, including living a fruitful and successful life.
2. To produce fruit, we must step off the path of self-righteousness.
- It can be easy to assume that we are walking in righteousness when we take notice of the things that those around us are doing. Especially if those things that others are doing is sinful in some way.
- We often look at ourselves and say well I am not sinning in that way, so I am more righteous than they are! But the truth is we all fail God in some way or another daily. None of our actions could ever be good enough to earn God’s love, favor, or grace.
Romans 3:23 says “For all sin and fall short of the glory of God.”
Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV) “But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousness’s are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.”
- But glory be to God for His grace is sufficient!
2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
- It was Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross that gave us the love and the grace that we could never have earned ourselves.
- Self-righteousness is a sin that we as believers can commit often but acknowledge so little. It reminds me of the scripture that Jesus describes in Luke 8, The Parable of the Sower.
Jesus says that “Others are like the seed that fell on rock. That is like the people who hear God’s teaching and gladly accept it. But they do not have deep roots. They believe for a while. But when trouble comes, they turn away from God. “What about the seed that fell among the thorny weeds?” Jesus replies. “That is like the people who hear God’s teaching, but they let the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life stop them from growing. So, they never produce a crop.” (Luke 8:13-14 ERV)
- Self-glorification, chasing after riches, fame and pleasures are all connected to self-righteousness. And self-righteousness stems from pride.
- We know that the Word of God tells us that pride comes right before a fall!
Proverbs 16:18 NKJV “Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.”
3. We must go through the process of cultivation to produce a good crop!
- A seed can be planted into any type of soil but for the plant to grow, the soil must be cultivated or prepared for gestation. Once the seed has been planted in good soil the developmental process can begin and the plant will yield good fruit in due time.
“Jesus says in Luke 8:15. “And what about the seed that fell on the good ground? That is like the people who hear God’s teaching with a good, honest heart. They obey it and patiently produce a good crop.”
The NKJV of Hebrews 6:7 tells us “For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God.”
The ERV of that same passage says:
“Some people are like land that gets plenty of rain and produces a good crop for those who farm it. That kind of land has God’s blessing.”
- That scripture clearly shows us that we are the soil that God cultivates to produce a good crop! We are the good soil that he bestows his blessings upon.
- We know that Luke 8 tells us that we are the good soil that produces good fruit by obedience and patience. So how do we obey?
4. Faith leads to obedience.
Romans 1:5 tells us “Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.”
- When we walk by faith, we receive the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the faith that we need to obey the Word of God!
The word says in Galatians 3:2-5 “Tell me this one thing: How did you receive the Spirit? Did you receive the Spirit by following the law? No, you received the Spirit because you heard the message about Jesus and believed it.”
- We do not receive the Holy Spirit by works, we receive the Spirit of God by believing in His word. Faith itself comes from hearing the word of God.
Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
- We know that God’s word is His seed. When we hear the word and plant it in our hearts, we gain faith. By walking in that faith, we receive the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that we gain the power, self-control, and strength that we need to obey the word of God and keep his commands.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 tells us “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
We can clearly see that it is God and His Spirit that helps us to walk in faith and obey His commands. We know that there is no need to feel shameful or guilty when falling short of God’s glory. We can trust in the fact that when we read and store God’s word in our hearts, receive and rely on the Holy Spirit, that He will fully equip us so that we can fully walk in alignment with the will of The Lord for our lives. In doing so, we will gain faith, trust, obedience, love, perseverance, and a fruitful harvest. Then we can honestly know that we are living a life full of excellence because of Jesus Christ who lives inside of us.