I love the words used in the command to be fruitful which seen repeatedly in Genesis. Not only in Genesis, fruitfulness is a theme seen throughout scripture, culminating in the two analogies of a vine and a body in the gospels.
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Notice the strong language used around this command…fruitful, increase, fill, subdue, rule over.
words related to fruitful
abundant , affluent, copious, effusive, exaggerated, excessive, fertile, lavish, lush, luxuriant, opulent, overflowing, plenteous, plentiful, prolific, rampant, rich, superabundant, superfluous, teeming
I think that Christians should be the most productive and fruitful people on the planet. Whatever our vocation, whatever our gifting, whatever our hobbies, Christians are equipped to be fruit-producing machines in the earth. Every Christian should produce profuse amounts of fruit for the following reasons.
- We are literally the Body of Christ on earth, what he does, we do, when he is fruitful it is seen in our activity, see 1 Corinthians 12:27
- We have access to the very vine of life (Jesus Christ), see John 15:5
- We have unique access to the stores of wisdom and knowledge through our link to Christ, see Proverbs 20:5
- We are commanded and expected to produce fruit by the Lord, see Matthew 21:43.
What can be considered fruit:
I think fruit can be considered several things including the result of spiritual gifting’s. Things like psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, gospel messages with those in our world, sermons, teachings, healings, words of encouragement, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, prophecies, blogs, books.
Fruit can also include the results of our natural gifting’s used and seen in our vocation. Days of hard work and accomplishments, witty ideas and inventions, general productivity. This fruit can be considered everything of value to our economy whether as highly valuable employees or as business owners.
Common Pitfalls in Producing Fruit:
I can write about pitfalls from experience, I have struggled with the following:
- The low expectations of others, whether it be employers or pastors, those above us we feel we are serving can have low or no expectations on our lives, because of this we settle for doing little to nothing by way of producing fruit. The bottom line is we ultimately have to answer to God for our fruit level, not man. God has high and lofty expectations on his body, he created amazing and talented “fruit” machines filled with his own life, we should not blame the low or misguided expectations others for our own lack of fruit.
- Confusion about calling and vocation. The best way that I know to resolve this confusion is to continuously seek God and follow our strengths. As we grow and mature our calling and our gifts usually become more evident. This takes longer for some than it does for others, and that is ok. Some of us don’t hit our fruitful prime until late in life, others very early, and this timing difference is perfectly fine.
- Fruit production is not a competition, like all fruit trees we produce different fruit at different times of the year and at different times of our lives. We should never watch other people and compare ourselves. This is not fair to ourselves and is not fair to the people we are secretly competing with.
So if you are believer in Jesus Christ be fruitful, be abundant, be effusive, be exaggerated, be lavish, be overflowing, be plentiful, be prolific, be superabundant, be superfluous and be teeming with good fruit because after all you are connected to Jesus Christ, to all the stores of wisdom and knowledge. Your head, your Lord has equipped you and expects abundant good fruit from you.
In what ways have you been fruitful recently?
In what areas would you like to be more fruitful?