Be Fruitful

 “. . . that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Col 1:9-10

[12] Jesus was a master of parables to teach deep lessons on the Kingdom of God. Using analogies, or metaphors, is a powerful, memorable way to download an entire life-lesson into the heart of the listener.

In fact the whole Bible is full of analogies, and a central theme is that of being fruitful for the Kingdom of God.

God told Adam and Eve in Gen 1:28 to be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth. That was their first commission. We were to be the head of creation, the caretakers, and to enjoy God’s gift of the earth to us. God also intended for us to fill the earth with children who would each walk with God in their own relationship with Him.

But as we know, Adam and Eve sinned, and the next part of God’s plan was to restore our Spiritual relationship with Him through the death and resurrection of His Son.

We didn’t follow God’s designed plan, so God rerouted us through Jesus in order to get us back to our original destination—an eternal relationship with our Loving Creator.

So now, our commission as believers remains the same: Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth—with children of God.

Many of us recognize that we have entered a new stage in the history of the world. We are now in the last of the last days.

Recognizing this should mean a switch is thrown on the track of our lives. Many of us were headed toward building a comfortable life, walking with God, planning for the future . . . But suddenly those long-term plans seem pointless, and even a waste of the precious time that remains.

What if Jesus’s return is imminent? What if he actually came back some time in the next 3 years? Think of all of our plans, concerns, and human entanglements that would not matter—that would have no meaningful future.

What, then would really last that mattered?

Many of us have been in an emergency before. Suddenly things that mattered a great deal, had no value at all in the face of the emergency.

Each of us has to open our eyes, pray, read the Bible for wisdom, and watch the signs of the times. Each of us has to become convinced in our own heart, mind and spirit, what time it is on the prophetic clock. We must not be as those who sleep, or who say “all things continue as from the beginning” (2 Pet 3:4). We must not be as the Pharisees Jesus chastised, who were blinded to the season of their Messiah.

We must observe the evidence of the world’s “labor pains” (sorrows) signaled in Jesus’s prophetic clock (Matt 24:8, Mk 13:8), and recognize when “to look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). Jesus urged us to “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).

Paul also warned about those who sleep spiritually, “For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” (1Th 5:3-4).

So what about those upon whom this destruction will come suddenly? Have we no responsibility? At one point, Jesus lamented, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

We don’t know exactly what He was thinking about with that question, but we can certainly discern that He expected us to do our part.

So as friends of Jesus, we can take up the call to Be Fruitful, even more so in these last days, and we have a few steps given us about this process from scripture, as well as from creation itself.

In the Vine: Jesus tells us to “abide in the vine” which is Himself (John 15:5). All of our strength, growth, and fruitfulness comes from the Son of God, who is the Word. Those of us who recognize the times we are in, must come to Him and His Word without exception every day, asking for an in-filling of Spiritual holiness, wisdom, inspiration, guidance, vision, companionship, strength, and the faith to walk with Him on the path He has established for each of us.

Pruning: Jesus let us know that He would prune the lives of believers (John 15:2), to cut away dead branches, and to stimulate new, more fruitful growth. We can see these current times as a pruning that reveals both the dead and the living faiths. Imagine the maturity level it takes for believers to endure being pruned by challenges and hardships, and as a result, to bear more fruit—more Jesus-character to glorify the Lord.

Bearing fruit: Jesus said, “Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples” (John 15:8). Psalms 1:2-3 identifies meditating on the Word of God as producing fruit in the believer’s life, and Jer 17:7-8 promises that trust in the Lord leads to fruit-bearing. Both practices promise that we will not wither, even in a drought.

Spiritual “Fruit” is defined by Gal 5:22-23 as:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Gentleness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Kindness
  • Self-control

It is evident that our spiritual fruit is intended to attract others to Jesus. Whatever the season, we are to bear this fruit of love, joy, peace, kindness—in hardships, drought, persecution. . . That’s the character that draws the hungry to us—to Jesus.

Jesus described the 4 types of believers in the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:18+, Mark 4:14+, Luke 8:11+):

  • The first are hearers who do not receive the Word into their hearts.
  • The second gladly receive the Word and accept it, but in difficult times, or when offense, or ideas challenge their faith, they fall away, and bear no fruit.
  • The third receives the Word and growth springs up, but soon their worries, desires, and competing interests with the world cause their growth to be choked, and do not bear much fruit.
  • The fourth receives the Word in good ground, and regardless of the circumstances, bears exponential, compounding fruit, multiplying the original through many generations.

Dropping seeds: Jesus said that seeds must die to bear fruit, and the Messianic prophecy of Psalm 22 reveals that a seed will be sacrificed for that generation to “a people that shall be born,” (vs 30-31). Every generation until ours has made the sacrifices called upon to continue passing on the saving faith in Jesus. It is a Spiritual principle that when we set aside our personal priorities to bear spiritual fruit, the seeds of our obedience lead to this fruitful multiplication beyond, even to succeeding generations.

Watering: We need to be willing to water those seeds planted around us. God calls us to pay attention to those sprouts of faith and pour into them Spiritual truth, doctrine, wisdom, encouragement, and guidance through the Word, and most of all prayer, so that they may grow.

What greater commission can we fulfill in these last days, but to persevere in that first great call to be fruitful and multiply souls for the Kingdom? For the when the last trumpet blasts, there will be no more work to do, and those left behind will need to toil through the tribulation.

Let us set our heart on taking some of them with us.

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