I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takesaway, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it maybear more fruit. (John 15:1-2 ESV)
Here we see Jesus starting to lay out a principle that he is the sustenance and strength because if we remain in him then we shall become fruitful. I believe there are two kinds of fruitfulness.
When we remain in Jesus, we don’t just see a fruit in terms of ministry which I will come to after. We must first see fruit in our own lives with regards to 2 things.
Change in Character
When we start to actually rely on him and start a relationship with him. we see a change in our character where we throw off a cynical attitude and take up a trusting one. We throw off a ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’ mentality and become more loving. We change from a microwave culture to a patient heart. Throw off arrogance and self-centredness and become more humble and compassionate.
All these things set a soil of readiness to grow out of the behaviours of the world
Change in Behaviour
Once your character starts changing it sets a culture of change in your soul. It makes you ready for God to start dealing with the destructive behaviours. You may not even notice that these behaviours change but also some will take a conscious effort everyday to change and to hold off. This is why you remain in Jesus and the Bible because when you remain in him. You get strength and you remember that these commandments are out of Love not out of a fun ruining spirit.
As your grow in Christ you will see the fruits appear in many different behaviour changes. You won’t have the desire to get drunk, to sleep with your girl outside of marriage, to look at porn, to use crude language, to lie. You won’t be quick tempered, hard hearted or malicious or gossipy. Instead, you talk up a Authentic, Servant Hearted, Generous, Forgiving, Encouraging, Accountable heart that will submit to the leadership of the Godhead as well as the leadership of the Church.
Accountability, Authenticity and Submission go hand into hand. If you are accountable to peers and leadership you naturally become more transparent and Authentic. If you have a problem submitting and accepting your leaders rules then dig into scripture and see what the Word says about respecting your leaders wishes and therefore glorifying Christ.
When your Character and Behaviour changes then your ministry becomes more fruitful because you start looking more like Christ. What does fruitful in ministry mean?
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV)
We see the gifts of the Spirit evident in the lives of those who decide to dwell in Jesus. We see them exercising in the spirit. This means when Holy Spirit tells you to do it. you do it. So we see people have:
- Gifts of Knowledge – this is the Gift to be able to talk to someone about a subject in their life that you couldn’t have know about.
- Gift of Wisdom – this is the Gift to be able to share a divine Wisdom. A Godly principle to a situation in someones life.
- Gift of Faith – The gift of faith is some thing that I believe is given for a season and is for a particular hard time to help you trust and hope that God is gonna pull through.
- Gift of Healing – This is not just healing of aches and pains all though we those are part of this gift. It can also be providing healing of the soul and heart.
- Gift of Miracles – The gift of Miracles is more seeing limbs grow and bones miraculously put back together. Even the dead come back to life.
- Gift of Prophesy – Prophecy has been misunderstood and abused for years. Prophecy is not meant to tell a girl you fancy that you are meant to be with her. It’s not meant for telling people that their kids are gonna be named ‘insert name here’. Prophecy is meant to confirm something that God is already telling you. Thats the glorious miracle of prophecy that you don’t what God is telling someone personally but God uses your to confirm it.
- Gift of distinguishing spirits/discernment – I would say this is one of the hardest gifts to define but my belief is that this is being able to feel not just the evil side of the spiritual realm but also feel Holy Spirit’s presence in a room.
- Tongues and the interpretation of Tongues – Tongues has two uses. one to edify yourself and let your heart and should connect to God’s with no thinking this is not the Tongues being talked about here we see a Tongues that is a public shout and declaration in a foreign tongue. This is where there is to be a interpretation of this tongue.
All these things should be evident in you if you are dwelling in Christ. They may not all appear at once but the spirit will give them to you for periods or seasons or moments.
The other thing that will show you are being fruitful is that you see people coming to christ but people can’t be saved if you are not talking about him. You won’t just see a hand raised or declaration in prayer. You will want to see them baptised and then also plugged into regular fellowship. This is true fruit in ministry. We count salvations, baptisms and attendance not because thats how we measure success. However we measure things things because we can give glory to God for the numbers and also each number is a person and EVERY PERSON MATTERS!!
Due to wanting to keep these Blogs quite short I am going to post a second part of this Blog tomorrow or Wednesday.