I have a tattoo on my right arm. It’s a little bear that is holding grapes; I got that tattoo at the beginning of my Christian journey. It serves as a constant reminder to bear fruit. Get it??? “bear-fruit”.
It was inspired by John 15:8:
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
What does it mean to bear fruit? Well, why do plants bear fruit? It is amazing how many fruits there are in the world. I tried to look up a number but the internet gave me a range from 1600 to 2500 (that doesn’t include varieties of the same fruit). However, let’s look at sweet fruit: apples, oranges, peaches, etc. Why do trees create such deliciously sweet fruit? Well, one of the reasons is that there are many animals that also like sweet fruit. Since the animal consuming the fruit is mobile, it has the ability to spread the seeds farther than the parent tree.
Now you see why God is asking you bear much fruit. Take Billy Graham; he wasn’t born and immediately became a Christian. There was a process, Billy Graham was influenced, was inspired, and was mentored by someone that was bearing much fruit. The Christians that helped Billy Graham become a great preacher, were also recipients of fruit that was bore by past Christians. These are Christians whose name you and I don’t know. At the bottom of this post, I put a link to an article called “THE CHAIN OF EVENTS LEADING TO BILLY GRAHAM’S CONVERSION”; it is a very interesting read. So maybe you will not become the next Billy Graham, but you will influence the next great preacher.
So what does it mean to bear fruit? The Bible gives us many examples, let’s explore a few:
In the case of Billy Graham, the Gospel was shared to him and it bore fruit:
In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace Colossians 1: 6
We bear fruit through our good works and studying the Bible:
10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, Colossians 1: 10-11
We bear fruit by repenting:
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8
We bear fruit through our behavior:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
Now, not all sweet fruit is good, for example, the Deadly Nightshade is a nice shiny black cherry-looking fruit that is sweet but it is LETHAL.
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
Bearing good fruit is a conscious decision. It is not easy, many times I just play through the motions of the day completely numb to the opportunities that God gives me to bear good fruit. However, it is very easy for me to start giving bad fruit (in my case with fits of rage and jealousy).
So what kind of fruit will you be bearing today?
Here is the article about Billy Graham:
I also want to share this video that was shared by our Pastor at our church: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP1znqK7UZ8