Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bearing Fruit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."   (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)  Once we have been born again, we already have the fruit of the Spirit.  It has to be used and developed by us though in order for the fruit to be shown in our lives.

As Jesus' disciples and Christ-followers, we need to bear fruit.  However, we cannot and will not bear fruit without remaining in a continuous relationship with Jesus.   “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  (John 15:5, NIV)  

Jesus is the true vine.  Therefore, we must stay connected to Him.  "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."  (John 15:4, NIV)  Jesus' Father and ours is the gardener who cuts off every branch in us that doesn't bear fruit.  Every branch that does bear fruit, our Father prunes so that we will be even more fruitful.  (John 15:1-2

We don't need to just bear fruit, but we need to produce a lot of fruit in our lives.  "This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."  (John 15:8)

In addition, it isn't just any kind of fruit that we want and need to display either.  It's the good kind of fruit.  In order to bear good fruit, we have to be good disciples and followers of Jesus Christ.  He is the only one who can make us truly good.  “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.  (Matthew 12:33)

We will truly be known by the fruit that we bear in our lives.  "By their fruit you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."  (Matthew 7:16-20)
Jesus wants us to produce fruit that doesn't end.   "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.(John 15:16)

The Apostle Paul encourages us to live as children of the light.  He tells us that the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.  (Ephesians 5:8-9)

Let's choose to bear fruit but not just any fruit.  Choose to produce lots of good fruit in your life.  Decide to be a true disciple and follower of Jesus Christ by staying in relationship with Him.  Then, we will truly be Children of the Light as He is in the Light.  (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.     

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Abiding in Jesus

"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." (John 15:4, NKJV)

Jesus tells us that He is the true vine, and His Father is the vinedresser.  (John 15:1)  He also says that we are the branches.  (John 15:5)

Are you abiding in Jesus?

According to, the word 'abide' is defined as 'to remain, continue, stay'.  If we are abiding in Jesus, we are remaining with Him. We continue with Him. We stay with Him.   It also means 'to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship; last'.  Therefore, we continue in our individual and personal relationships with Him.  

How do we do it?

We stay in God's word.  We continue seeking Him.  We keep spending time with Him. 

There are benefits for remaining in constant communication with Him.  For one, we bear much fruit which means we are productive within the Kingdom of God.  (John 15:5)  "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."  (John 15:7-8, NKJV)

There are also consequences for not staying in relationship with Jesus.  "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away..."  (John 15:2aWe cannot and will not do anything really worthwhile without Him.  (John 15:5)  "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."  (John 15:6, NKJV)

When we abide in Jesus, we also abide in His love.  (John 15:9)  The only way we can truly abide in His love is by keeping His commandments.  And, the only way we can really keep His commandments is by abiding in Him and staying in His word.  (John 15:10)

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Acceptance by God

Anyone who has lived in this world for any length of time has experienced rejection at one time or another.  It is an inevitable part of life.  Rejection is even more a part of a Christian's life in this world.  [Note: I am not trying to scare away those people who may not have already accepted Jesus into their hearts and lives.  The Christian life isn't easy.  However, it is still very much worth it!]

Since Jesus Christ experienced rejection, we can also expect to suffer rejection from others.  "He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held him in low esteem."  (Isaiah 53:3, NIV)  He suffered much for us.  Likewise, we will also suffer persecution and rejection.  

The disciple Luke affirms the rejection in the life of a true follower of Jesus Christ.  "Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown."  (Luke 4:24, NIV)  As a matter of fact, we are told that we will have trouble in this world.  (John 16:33)  However, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.  (Romans 8:37)

Little Shepherd boy, David, was initially rejected by both his father, Jesse, and Samuel.  But the Lord told Samuel, "...The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  (1 Samuel 16:7b, NIV)  David went on to become a king and ruled a country.

Therefore, it does matter what people think or say about us.  We are not to allow people's opinions of us to affect us in a negative way.  We are also not to allow the rejection by people to adversely affect us.  It only matters what our Father thinks and says about us.  His opinion is the only one which really makes a difference.  He accepts all of His children.  (Romans 14:3; Hebrews 12:6

Our Father sees and knows us like no other person can or will ever know us.  "God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us."  (Acts 15:8, NIV)

The beloved disciple, John, talks more about our acceptance by God and others.  "Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me."  (John 13:20, NIV)  Therefore, we can expect to be accepted by those who accept Him.  

In addition, the Apostle Paul tells us to honor God by our acceptance of others.  "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."  (Romans 15:7, NIV)

No matter what happens in this world---we who are God's children are accepted by Him.  We can rest in that assurance.  We can also rest just knowing that when others don't accept us our Father will always accept us.  It makes a huge difference. 

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.