A Righteous Bounty
Get interested in helping other people and let God shine through you. You’ll be fruitful in every good work.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right today? Oh, I trust so. Any of you that have struck a rough day look up and say, Lord Jesus see me through this one and He will. He takes you through. The keyword is through. “Yea, though I walk through the valley, I will fear no evil”. He doesn’t drop you in the middle of it, thank God. He hasn’t brought you this far to drop you now.
Well, we’re winding up our study of the book of Titus and there’s a book at the end there, there is a verse I should say, at the end there that triggers some thought on my part and I trust will be a blessing to you. It’s the word unfruitful. This whole matter of fruitfulness is tied in Paul’s thinking to work. “Let our people learn to maintain good works for necessary uses”.
Now, that’s the kind of work that has to be done, all the way from cleaning the attic and taking out the garbage, to budging the budget and adjusting the advertising program or whatever, you know? Good work for necessary uses. That’s work. “In order that they”, there’s another little purpose clause, “In order that they be not unfruitful”. This whole matter fruitfulness then comes into focus in connection with the work that you and I do. I’m looking at some of the verses that one can find when you a consult your concordance, that the Word of God says about fruitfulness and unfruitfulness. You want to talk about that for little while?
Those who listened to the ministry of John the Baptist were told to, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for”, that means worthy of, “repentance”. If I really repent, I’m going to be different. If I don’t really repent, I may talk about it but my conduct won’t be any different. Fruits worthy of repentance, means conduct that is consistent with the position that I’ve adopted toward Almighty God. The basis, I think for initial fruitfulness in one’s life therefore, has to be sincerity with God. Fruits worthy of repentance, means conduct that is consistent with what I say about my relationship to God. “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?”, is the divine complaint. “This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me”.
The tendency of human nature throughout the centuries has been to formalize religion, so that it becomes a thing of routine which can be entered into without drastically altering anyone’s lifestyle. “Fruits that are worthy of repentance”. Real fruitfulness in your life depends upon how serious you are about God.
You want to think about that for a moment? It may be a little uncomfortable for some of us. You say, “Oh come on preacher, we know all about that, go on to the next point”. Well just a moment. How serious are you about the claims of God on your life? Do you ever pray about anything nonreligious? Do you ever ask God to guide you in the ordinary duties of day by day living? Well, you say, “Who prays about that? I know I have to get up and do the wash and do the ironing and clean the house and take care of the baby and run the kids to Cub Scout troop and see to it that sister gets a music lesson and then prepare supper and after that do the dishes and collapse”. Yea, I know. You know what you have to do. So do I. I have to get up. Generally I would get up around 6 o’clock in the morning, something like that, sometimes it’s a little earlier. I like to do these broadcasts in the early morning hours because so many of you listen in the morning and I want to feel like you do when you’re listening. So I get up and dress and shave and wash the sleep out of my eyes and see to it that our four-footed, loudmouthed, flea-bearing friend, Rusty the Doberman has had his constitutional, and have a cup of coffee and then I get at it, and the broadcast is underway. And then the correspondence, and then the things that need to be done during… I know what I have to do and so indeed do you.
Beloved, it isn’t what. It’s with whom and for whom that counts. Don’t you know that? The basis for fruitfulness is how serious you are about God’s involvement in the things you ordinarily have to do. Not everything in life is religious, you know? You don’t go to the office singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy” at the top of your voice. Can’t do that. If you keep on, the men in white coats will have you before 10 o’clock in the morning. Can’t be officially religious about everything, but you can be Christian. That is to say you can invite God into the process of living.
I tell our young people here, or used to tell them, pray your way through the day. Pray when you wake up, pray before you greet your roommate with a loving snarl. You don’t have to be unpleasant in the morning just because you are sleepy and have to get up. Pray before your first class, something other than, “Lord don’t let them call on me today”, you know? Pray before you make a date, pray before you go on a date. You’ll have less praying to do during and after. Pray before you open let the letter, could be a check or a bill, there’s a difference. Pray before you pick up the phone, you don’t know who it is, why should you be the prisoner whoever else’s at the end of the wire? Be poised because you’ve whispered a prayer that God would make you prepared for that phone call. Pray before you sign a contract, God has already read the fine print. Pray before you make a life decision; where shall I work, where shall I live, whom shall I marry, what kind of job shall I seek, and all of that.
Pray before you do all these things, then when the day is over you can turn out a pocket full of memories and just worship your blessed Lord and love Him and praise Him because all day long you’ve been walking with God. You’ve been serious about God, you’ve invited Him in. we all know people who have a casual interest in us. It’s interesting to hear people say, “Oh we’ve got to get together. Let’s get together sometime”. Now, you know what would happen if you showed up at their house someday and say, “You know Jim, you said, ‘Let’s get together sometime’, and I’m here”. He would look at you with terror in his eyes and think, “Oh now, not them now, not now”, you know? Why? Because he never meant for you to get together. He was casual about it. He wasn’t serious. He was friendly and cordial, but not serious, right? Many of us are friendly and cordial to God, but we’re not serious about Him and we relegate Him to some kind of a of a backdoor entrance kind of a relationship in our life.
Oh, dear dear friend, you want to be fruitful? Maybe the starting point for many of us is just get down, to get serious with God about inviting Him into the ordinary things of everyday living. What do you think? Don’t you think it’s a good idea? Well then, there’s the fruit of a Christian. Jesus our blessed Lord said, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain. That whatsoever shall ask of the father in My name, He may give it you”.
Your fruit, what’s the fruit of a Christian? What’s the fruit of an apple seed? An apple tree. What’s the fruit of an acorn? An oak tree. What’s the fruit of a grain of corn? A stalk of corn. What’s the fruit of a Christian? Another Christian. To be fruitful as a Christian means that you are bringing other people into contact with the living Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. So He said, “I’ve chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit”. “To be chosen”, means that God has picked you out. “Ordained you”, means that God has enabled you by His Holy Spirit. “That you should go”, means that God wants you to obey His direction. And, “bring forth fruit”, means that God wants to give you the dynamic quality of life giving, life transmitting power.
Now this may shake you up a little and if it’s too strong for you, pass it by, but if it isn’t take it. God wants you to be able to transmit His very life to other people by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through you as you contact other people’s lives. God wants you to be able to transmit His very life to other people by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through you, as you make contact with other people’s lives. Your fruit is another Christian. The result of somebody contacting your life is that the life of the Lord Jesus becomes real to that person. Fruit.
Paul says in Romans 7,“Wherefore my brethren be, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to Him was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God”. Now, here you have the idea of a second marriage resulting in children. That’s the figure of speech that Paul is using, and the church as you note is called the bride of Christ, so that the figure speech that’s used here is the idea of being united with the Lord Jesus Christ in such a close spiritual relationship, that you actually produce in other people, His wonderful life as the Spirit of God works through you.
This is quite similar to what I just said to you in a little different context. The Lord Jesus Christ is the heavenly bridegroom. You and I are part of the bride of Christ, and the result of His wonderful Holy Spirit working through us, is that other people come in contact with Him as well and are born from above. Born-again through the power of God. God using you beloved, as His instrument in that process. Fruitfulness.
Then Paul says in Philippians 1, “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God”. The fruits of righteousness. The fruits of righteousness. Well, I don’t know, maybe that’s like the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. That could very well be construed as the meaning of that, but I’m wondering if it’s not just right there on the surface.
What is the result of God’s righteousness being demonstrated in your life? Number one, it is proof that God is real. Number two, it results in conviction in the unsaved heart. “If someone comes in”, Paul says in Corinthians, “into your assembly and they hear someone giving out the Word of God in power, he is convicted of all”. So, the result is conviction. What else? The fruits of righteousness is that it creates a hunger in the other person’s heart for the same experience, ‘I want that for myself’. Finally, it leads the other person who has made contact with your life to seek the same Savior who has filled you with His power and His Spirit. The fruits of righteousness. Well, we’ll get at some more of this the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we be people who bear fruit for the praise and honor of the Lord Jesus. In His name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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