In our last series we were talking about fruit, fruit of the Spirit to be specific. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “How do we measure fruit?”
John 15 takes us on this journey where Jesus tells us to abide in Him and that if we abide in Him we can bear fruit but if we do not abide in Him then we cannot bear fruit. Jesus goes on to say that if we bear fruit our heavenly Father will prune us so we can bear more fruit. Then around verse 8, Jesus takes it up a notch and says that, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples”.
So, we go from not producing fruit outside of Jesus. We find salvation and begin walking with Jesus and abiding in Him and we start to produce fruit. Just as everything is all gravy, we start to get pruned, ouch. But we remember that pruning is for our good. It is so we can produce more fruit. Then we start to produce more fruit in our lives and going through the cycle of producing fruit and being pruned. Then we begin to produce much fruit to Papa God’s glory. How awesome is that! Take note that Jesus says we show ourselves to be His disciples when we produce much fruit. That says a lot.
It means you can be in church and producing a little bit of fruit and not be a disciple. You can be following God and producing fruit and not be a disciple but true discipleship is marked by the level of fruit being produced in your life. We go from fruit, to more fruit, to much fruit and discipleship as we grow in our walk in Christ. So how do we measure fruit? How do we know if we are being fruitful? How do we know if we are disciples? What is a disciple? So many questions right?
We can’t measure fruit on a scale or in a measuring cup. We can’t even compare ourselves to our friends because we are on different journeys and we are called to different things. Fruit is not something that can be measured by natural means. Because fruit is spiritual, only God knows the true measure of our fruit. Just because you are not getting the result you were expecting does not mean you are not bearing fruit.
If I quit my job today and go stand outside my building and start preaching to people to be saved and I see people get saved and give their lives to Jesus does that mean my life is bearing more fruit then that it is now? I would say no, because I will be acting in rebellion to God. He hasn’t told me to do that. Fruit comes from obedience. It is not measured in numbers of salvations or money or how many people fall when you pray for them. Those things can be a sign of fruit but they are not a measure of fruit.
This is why we need Jesus. This is why Jesus tells us to abide in Him. To live in His Presence and in awareness of His life in us. That way, wherever we are, God can cause us to do simple things that increase our fruitfulness. It is in our obedience to do random acts of kindness, showing love to people, forgiving people and letting go of things, being good to those around us and being faithful in what we are called to do. Bearing fruit is not a race against your friends or your pastors. It is a race against yourself. You aim to be more and more like Jesus with each day you live and with each encounter you have with God.
So stop looking at what everyone else is doing and focus on what God is working on in your life and commit to grow and mature in that.
P.s. I thought we were done with the fruit, looks like I spoke too soon, haha!
Love and blessings,