Breakthrough to Fruitfulness
“'This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.’” (John 15:8 NIV)
How sad it is that when asked about their spiritual life, many have nothing more to say than “I’m a Baptist” or “I’m a Catholic” or “I’m charismatic.” How unrelated this all is to God’s description of what is truly vital:
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
They will grow like a cedar of Lebanon…
They will still bear fruit in old age,
They will stay fresh and green (Psalm 92:12,14).
The goal of this growth process is that we are to bear fruit. God is not as interested in what we “do” for him as in our bearing spiritual fruit. That’s the kind of breakthrough he’s looking for. And only his Spirit at work within us can produce the godly character he desires.
A lack of spiritual fruit, therefore, is a serious matter to the Lord. It’s the reason that Israel was rejected by God and driven from the Promised Land: “Ephraim [Israel] is blighted, their root is withered, they yield no fruit” (Hosea 9:16).
If the Lord is so concerned about fruit bearing, we need to ask why many church leaders today seem preoccupied with attendance figures and the latest church growth techniques. Consider Paul’s prayer for the believers in Colossae: We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10).
Paul entreated the believers to “live a life worthy of the Lord.” His words imply that the opposite was also possible: they could live in a manner unworthy of their Savior. What did Paul mean by saying they should live a life worthy of Christ? He simply meant that they should grow in grace and bear fruit to the glory of God. “This is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8). God is glorified as his Spirit bears fruit in and through us…
We know that the law is incapable of saving anyone because the law is a lifeless thing written in stone. But Christ suffered, died, and rose again so that we would die to the law and “belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God” (Romans 7:4). Bearing fruit is vital since is it the underlying purpose behind the gift of God’s Son.
A new believer in Christ will always exhibit a change in behavior as proof that the fruit-bearing process has begun. Paul told the Colossians, “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth (Colossians 1:6)…
The church today needs a major breakthrough into the kind of fruitful living that pleases the Lord…
-Pastor Cymbala (excerpted from Breakthrough Prayer)
Let’s ask God to make us fruitful, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in 2019!