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The Fruitful Body of Jesus Christ

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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.

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words related to fruitful

exuberant adj. profuse

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.

  1. 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
  2. We have access to the very vine of life (Jesus Christ), see John 15:5
  3. We have unique access to the stores of wisdom and knowledge through our link to Christ, see Proverbs 20:5
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Christian Fruit …on Demand

The science of fruit trees (pomology) is fascinating to me.  I have apple trees and enjoy studying and managing them for fruit production.  This involves late winter pruning, ground nutrition, sun exposure, blossom protection from frost, maximum pollination, fruit thinning, pest control, and deer/ rabbit protection.

knowledge2

Bottom line, with a little knowledge we can cause and expect a tree to produce fruit.

The same is true of scientists.  I have been working in R&D for a corporation for the past ~19 years.  This year alone I expect to file as many as 10 patents for my company. I am in the middle of a “fruit” explosion so to speak in my vocation and it is a wonderful feeling, regardless of whether or not I am given credit or promoted for it, I know that I am producing fruit in abundance for my company now and that alone is very satisfying.

Freedom to explore, collaboration with others and access to funds are the cultural and practical environment which made this fruit explosion possible.  Similarly I’ve noticed that the top producing scientists in my company are great at these three things.  They take and are given freedom to work on anything, they voraciously collaborate and build a strong internal network and they have access to funds… almost as much as they want.

Similar to the apple tree and the scientist is the Christian producing fruit.

Christian fruit can take many forms and include all the fruits of our spiritual gifts, which can be manifested in many forms including: letters, evangelistic messages in written and spoken form, instructional and inspirational books, blog posts, helps, financial gifts to the poor, podcast episodes, new spiritual songs, poems, special insights into lives of unbelievers. Fictional stories, parables, metaphors, scientific discoveries, witty ideas, inventions of things and processes, blessings to friends (which can take many forms). miraculous signs, miraculous healings, and countless other forms of ‘fruit’ the world has yet to see.

All things were created by and for Jesus Christ (Col 1:16b) and I believe that he expects his body to produce ‘fruit’ in the earth.  But we must prepare ourselves to produce fruit, conditions for fruit production can be optimized. We can manage our spiritual lives like we manage a fruit tree. Every believer can make four preparations to maximize his/ her our own fruit production for Jesus Christ.

  1. Complete engagement in producing the type fruit that God expects from us. We need to focus on the idea of producing fruit, this can not be a casual want or a side-project that we get to on Sunday’s if we have enough time, it is one of the very purposes of human life and our fruit is our specific and chief calling.
  2. Know what type of fruit is expected from us, God has gifted us all differently, he exposes us to different seasons of life at different times. To know what fruit God expects of us is half the battle, much time in prayer and fruit experimentation is the place to start.
  3. Fit into the body of Christ, we are members of Christ’s body, not independent creators, we produce best when interacting, when fellow-shipping,when sharing our lives with other Christians, when mixing and developing ideas, exploring and encouraging others.
  4. Divert resources to producing fruit, an apple tree diverts water and considerable energy producing apples each year. Successful tech companies divert considerable capital and cash and skilled scientists and engineers to R&D. Similarly a member of the body of Christ committed to producing fruit for Jesus Christ should intentionally divert his/ her time and finances to producing fruit for others.

What fruit are you producing and what fruit are you producing for Jesus Christ?

Suffering with Christ in Niger

Bowdens in Africa

  With this post I want to do three things; draw attention to a happening in the country of Niger, honor a Christian community and honor a missionary family in the country of Niger.  I follow the blog of missionary family Jonathan and Dani Bowden, I don’t know this family personally but I know a close relative. I believe that all Christians […]

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