God Desires Fruit From You Rom. 7: 4 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
“We should bring forth fruit unto God,” [Rom 7:4]. We should be “fruitful in every good work,” [Col 1:10]. When you study passages in the New Testament that deal with fruit, you realize that God desires fruit. For us to bear fruit we have to keep the weeds out and the soil good [Mk 4:7-8]. That is, we can’t be choked by the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things entering in [Mk 4:19]. And we must keep our hearts honest and good [Lk 8:15]. In addition, we’re going to see what God does to get the fruit he wants from his people.
Since God desires fruit from his people:
He’ll be patient with you – Jas 5:7 – “the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth.” God is not in a hurry for us to bear fruit. He knows that we must grow in the Lord before we can be fruitful. We need good roots. We plucked the fruit off of our new fruit trees to allow the trees to devote their nutrition to their growth and not to the growth of the fruit. They need to be bigger and stronger to increase their fruitfulness. Likewise, you need to be strong in the Lord to bear much fruit.
He’ll purge you – Jn 15:1-8, 16 – “he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” In a vineyard, the husbandman cuts off twigs and other growth that are not suitable for bearing fruit. When you see a vine in the “off season” it looks totally bare. But because it has been purged, it is ready for the fruit when the growing season begins. Before the harvest, the purged branches of the vine are full of fruit. Likewise, in our lives, the Lord has to cut away some things that are not productive. The process can be painful. But the result is beautiful. And the fruit is remarkable.
He’ll dig about and dung you – Lk 13:6-9 – this fig tree is a picture of Israel. The Lord expected Israel to be fruitful in their land. And because they weren’t he was ready to cut them down. Instead, though, he chose to give them another opportunity to become fruitful, after digging about them and dunging them. The digging and dunging represent the attacks by the Assyrians against Israel and the Chaldeans against Judah. Since, he didn’t get the desired fruit after that, he used Titus, in 70AD to cut them down. The digging and dunging process are necessary to improve the soil. And it is stinky work. The Lord may have to do some things in your life that stink. However, once you begin to bear fruit, there will be no evidence of the stink. So, when the Lord does something in your life that “stinks” just remember that it is for the fruit that he desires. Dr. Wayne Sehmish said, “We want to live a dung-free life; God wants fruit.” Another preacher responded, “I’m praying for miracle grow!”
And if through patience, purging and dunging, you don’t become fruitful:
He’ll let you wither – Mk 11:12-14; Matt 21:18-20 – God let this fig tree wither and it was never fruitful again. Likewise, after God has waited for you to grow and he’s purged you and dunged you, if you still aren’t bearing fruit, he’ll just let you wither. When this happens to a preacher, they say that he has been “put on the shelf.” His ministry is essentially dead. You have heard of a “dead church,” I’m sure. And there are many “dead” Christians, as well.
And if you are corrupt, because you are lost:
He’ll cast you into the fire – Matt 7:16-20 – when a tree is corrupt and brings forth corrupt fruit, it is hewn down and cast into the fire. This corrupt tree represents a lost person who has never been saved. If you are listening to this message today and you are lost, you must understand that in order to bear fruit for the Lord you need to be saved. And if you refuse to be saved, you will be cast into the lake of fire.
Conclusion: the Lord desires fruit for his glory, for the benefit of others and for your eternal reward [Phil 4:17]. Let him do with you what he needs in order to get the fruit that he desires.