Exceedingly fruitful


After the Almighty God renames Abram to Abraham, the first thing that God promises to Abraham, in the covenant that the LORD establishes with him, is that he would make him fruitful – exceedingly fruitful.

While “to be fruitful” can in this instance literally mean that the childless Abraham shall have a seed of his own, referring to Isaac, we see in the letter of Apostle Paul to the Church in Galatia that the Seed promised here referred to Christ Jesus himself (Galatians 3:16). Jesus was born centuries later in the line of Abraham and everyone who believes in him are are grafted into him (Romans 11:17; Romans 6:5), the Vine, through whom alone they can bear much fruit (John 15:5).

Points to ponder:
In other words, in order for Abraham to be fruitful, he would need to be rooted in Christ – and the same goes for each one of us. Are you and I rooted in Christ? Another thing to note is when the fruit of a tree is delicious to taste, we often praise the gardener. In other words, the glory does not go to the tree but the gardener/caretaker. In like manner, does the produce (fruit) of our lives bring glory to God the Father, the caretaker of our lives. Jesus himself said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples” (John 15:8). We know that we are fruitful – exceedingly fruitful, only when we live by the fruit of the Holy Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-23) and that in turn brings glory to God the Father. Are you and I exceedingly fruitful?

Genesis 17:6 (KJV)
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

John 15:5-8 (KJV)
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

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The pre-requisite for being fruitful


Genesis 4:1-2 reads “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Cain and Abel were God’s reward, the fruit of the womb (Psalm 127:3) who came about because of intimacy shared between Adam and Eve.

It is no surprise that in the physical sense, intimacy is a pre-requisite for being fruitful. In like manner, in the spiritual sense, without being intimate with God, one cannot bear fruit.

Jesus said, unless we abide in him and he in us, we cannot bear fruit (John 15:4). The fruit of God’s spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23), which we cannot bear unless we know God intimately. In fact, to know God is eternal life (John 17:3) and those who do not bear good fruit is [to be] hewn down and cast into the fire (Matthew 7:19).

Points to ponder:
The pre-requisite for bearing the fruit of the Spirit is being intimate with God. Are you/Am I fruitful, as a follower of Jesus, bearing fruit again and again?

Genesis 4:1-2 (KJV)
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

John 15:4-5 (KJV)
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

John 17:3 (KJV)
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Blessings and Fruitfulness


After God created man in his own image, the first thing that God does is, he blesses them and after God blessed them, the first command God gave them was to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28).

Points to ponder:
How are you and I doing in the first command of God? Are we fruitful?  If we are, what kind of fruit are we bearing – good or evil fruit? Jesus said, “A tree that does not bear good fruit is fit only to be cut and burned.” (Matthew 7:19-20). The (good) fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance and against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22). Is this fruit evident in our lives? With the blessings of God comes his command to be fruitful. How are we faring in this command?

Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Labor that stands the test of fire


Labor day is an American holiday that is celebrated on the first Monday in September annually. This labor day, as we rest from work, let us not fail to recognize that the work we do should be one that will not fail the test of fire when we finally stand before God and are judged out of the things which are written in the books, according to our works (1 Corinthians 3:15; Revelation 20:12). What does it mean that our labor (work) does not fail the test of fire?

The Ramayana tells the story of how Sita underwent a test of fire and agreed to be burned to prove her innocence (chastity) to her husband Rama, who suspected her of infidelity. No human is innocent and all have sinned and hence guilty (Romans 3:23). The only one who is imputed righteousness and declared innocent before God is the one who has believed in his Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 4:24). And when one believes, the Spirit of God comes into their life to reign and when the Spirit of God is within a person, that person ought to Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and not do the works of the flesh which is contrary to the Spirit (Galatians 5:17). Those who do the works of the flesh, which is made manifest in adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like shall  not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Galatians 19-21). In other words, these works will burn in the test of fire, but those who Walk in the Spirt, doing the Works of the Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit will have their labor stand the test of fire.

Points to ponder:
So if we want to have our labor stand the test of fire, let us Walk in the Spirit and let the Spirit of God work in us, for us and through us. Will your works stand the test of fire on judgment day?

1 Corinthians 3:13-17 (KJV)
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Revelation 20:12 (KJV)
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Fables Rewritten :: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing


A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep. The Lamb that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep’s clothing; so, leading the Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal off her, and for some time he succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals. “APPEARANCES ARE DECEPTIVE” (Reference: Aesop’s Fables).

The Bible counsels us to be aware and beware of false prophets in our midst. Jesus called these false prophets, ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). Unfortunately, many a times, many of us get carried away by the gifts that people have, instead of recognizing them for their fruits (Matthew 7:16). Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, will have the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance evident and expressed in and through their life (Galatians 5:22) and we are to try each spirit to see if it is from God and believe not every spirit, because many false prophets have come into this world (1 John 4:1). And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is God who had come in the flesh is the spirit of the antichrist and that includes any people/groups that may seem like they are Christian (e.g., Jehovah’s witness), but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Appearances that claimed not Jesus is the Christ is deceptive.

Matthew 7:15-17 (KJV)
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

1 John 4:1-3 (KJV)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Discipleship Series :: The Continuation


Jesus said, that one must, continue in the word of God to be his disciple (John 8:31). The word ‘continue’ is used in the context of the word ‘abide’. To abide is to be implanted or grafted. We must be like branches grafted to Jesus, The Vine. We cannot be a disciple of Jesus and not be part of him or let him not be part of us. But how can we know if we are abiding in Jesus or not? The answer is “fruitfulness”. When we abide in Christ Jesus, we shall bear much fruit (John 15:8); the fruit of the Spirit. Our life will be fruitful. In other words, it will be filled with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, against which there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Point(s) to ponder:
If we are disciples of Jesus, are we implanted with and in him and bearing much fruit of his Spirit?

John 8:31 (KJV)
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

John 15:7-8 (KJV)
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

Standards for God


Imagine for a moment that God is interviewed by your favorite news anchor and He is posed the question – “What is it that can help us identify your true children?

His response:
I have made my children in such a way that when the people of the world are sitting, they would be standing;
when the world is standing, they will stand out;
when the world stands out, they will be outstanding; and
when the devil dares the world to be outstanding, my children will be the standards to be used.

The Bible tells us that God has set apart those who are godly for himself (Psalm 4:3). Apostle Paul writes that he is a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle (sent forth) and set apart (separated) unto the gospel of God (Romans 1:1).

So what does it mean to be set apart by God for Himself unto His gospel?
To be set apart is to stand when the world sits, stand out when the world stands, be outstanding when the world stands out and to be the standards of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23) for all the world to see the hidden treasure we hold in our ephemeral bodies (jars of clay) which is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and the excellency of the power of God (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Are you/Am I a standard for God? If so, what kind of standard are we? If not, why not?