John 15:2 NKJV
[2] Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Good Morning!

Being a Christian is not to be a burden. We are to take the “easy yoke” that Jesus gives us and use it to bear more fruit in our own lives and the lives of others, but it does take time and effort on our part. This is not a “one and done” commitment. It is a lifelong journey that we begin the moment we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior.

By waking up each day and renewing our vowel to live each day for Christ, we will bear more fruit. The marching orders are all given in His word. We first must be dedicated to knowing God’s plan by reading His word daily and secondly spending time in prayer.

If we make a simple commitment to do more today that we did yesterday, we will grow upward and bear more fruit for His kingdom. This can be as simple as, “today I am going to add 5 more minutes to reading the Bible than I did yesterday.” But also don’t get caught up in just checking off the “I did it today” box. God wants a heart of purity and commitment, not one that is just going through the motions. He would much rather you spend a shorter amount of time with a committed heart, than just “punching your time clock” of Bible reading.

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NKJV
[11] Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. [12] And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, [13] so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
[16] All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1 Samuel 16:7b NKJV
For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Giving of Ourselves

Bearing more fruit is accomplished by commiting our time, talent and/or resources to others for God’s purpose, Proverbs tells us that we will “grow all the richer” and be “watered” by God. It is not about wealth accumulation, but being rich in spirit, building our treasures in God’s kingdom, where moth and rust will not destroy them. God loves a cheerful giver and will bless those that give of themselves. This is a promise of God, that as we give, God will give back to us in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. This may not always be evident in this life, but His promise will hold true in eternity.

Proverbs 11:24-25 ESV
[24] One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. [25] Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Matthew 6:19-21 ESV
[19] “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, [20] but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

2 Corinthians 9:7 NKJV
[7] So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Luke 6:38 NKJV
[38] Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Instructions For Religion

Jesus gave us specific instructions on advocating for the weak, while his half-brother, James, also gives us an insight in treating the downtrodden. This model is what James called “pure and undefiled religion,” one that shows the true heart of the Christian. When we care for those that are considered “less than,” we are bearing fruit for the kingdom of God. We are doing the Father’s work by putting others first and living in a state of humility and following Jesus’ instructions of “loving thy neighbor as yourself.” The Greek word for neighbor is “geiton,” which means “one living in the same land.” So basically is it everyone else around you in your sphere of influence.

Acts 20:35 NKJV
[35] I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Mark 12:30-31 NKJV
[30] And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. [31] And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

James 1:27 NKJV
[27] Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

James’s instruction to care for orphans and widows tells us what our Christian conduct should look like. In the first century, orphans and widows had very little means of economic support. Unless family members were willing to care for them, they were reduced to begging, selling themselves as slaves, or starving. By caring for these powerless people and others in need, the church was putting God’s Word into practice. Claiming loyalty to God means more than worshiping in church; it involves truly serving others. (Excerpt from the NKJV Life Application Study Bible Commentary)

Bearing More Fruit – Getting Started

There are so many opportunities to serve others. The “widows and orphans” of today don’t always look exactly the same as they did in the first century, at least in the U.S. But, we don’t have to look very far to find an elderly neighbor, a single mom, a disabled vet, someone out of work, a family with someone battling disease, etc. Most churches have ministries to help in these areas, but if not, there are many volunteer organizations to help point you in the right direction.

Here’s a great resource to check out:

We can all be impactful in this world, leaving a legacy of unselfishness, giving, humility and serving others — bearing more fruit. We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us!

Philippians 4:13 NKJV
[13] I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV
[20] Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, [21] to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I love you and am praying for you today!

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