Let the Spirit of God fill your life. In everything you do, honor Him.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Doing all right? Oh, I hope everything’s all right at your house, and if you’ve got any burdens, or if you’ve struck a rough day as I say, look up and trust your Lord, He’ll see you through. Now, my purpose in bringing these broadcasts to you, day by day, is not just to hear myself talk nor indeed to promote something, but to share with you the Word of God and put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself.
We’ve been talking about fruitfulness. The last time we got together I told you that fruitfulness really has to start with getting serious about God, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance”. You have to be consistent your actions in your lifestyle has to become consistent with your attitude toward God. Then there’s the fruit of the Christian. Jesus said, “That ye should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain”. That has to do with the divine miracle of the transmission of His, God’s life that is, to other people through you, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God.
Then we talked about the fruits of righteousness, the result of God working in your life, so far as its impact is concerned on other people. I’m looking now at Colossians 1:10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”. Now, it’s “worthy of the Lord”, that’s the first of the criteria listed here, and then the third is “increasing in the knowledge of God”, and in between is this phrase being fruitful in every good work.
Have you ever stopped to think that effectiveness in your work may very well depend upon those two other concepts? Look at Colossians 1:10 for yourself. “Worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, increasing in the knowledge of God”. Your fruitfulness is sandwiched in between there. What does it mean to “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing”? Well, I think you know really. You’ve all, if you’re anything like me, we’ve all had the experience of someone looking at us narrowly and say, “I don’t think that was worthy of you”. If we said something in an unguarded moment, something nasty or critical or mean or whatever, you know, or if we did something that was out of character and there wasn’t really any defense for it. We’ve all made such mistakes, haven’t we? I know I have, and someone would look at us and say, “That really wasn’t worthy of you”. What does it mean? It doesn’t measure up to the real you. It’s not in character.
Now he says, “Walk worthy.” Live. That word “walk” means live every day that you might live every day worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in everything. Do you want something that will transform your whole life outlook? Start asking this question before you do something or say something; Is this really going to honor the Lord? Is it worthy of my Lord? Oh, there is going to be a number of things that you’re going to omit because they aren’t worthy of Him, and there’ll be some other things and some other words that you are going to do and to say because they are worthy of Him. Is what I’m going to say or do consistent with the reputation and the name of the Lord, whom I claim to serve and love with all my heart? Now, you know there’s some things that aren’t worthy of Him. Dishonesty, immoral practices, mean and nasty and proud attitudes, criticism, gossip, and all that. There are so many things that you know and that I know, aren’t worthy of our Lord. So he said, you want be fruitful? You start living and talking on a level that honors your Lord and is worthy of Him, that fits.
Your conduct and your words need to fit easily with the God whom you say you love and serve. Then the other side of it is, increasing in the knowledge of God. Fruitfulness is tied to the question; How well do you know your Lord? Many people are uncomfortable in the presence of God. You can see for yourself out what happens when in a prayer meeting, for instance, there is a lull, and no one is leading audibly in prayer. You can hear, you can actually hear people start to fidget. They’ll shift their feet, they’ll move about on their chairs and there is a whole new atmosphere of tension which doesn’t have, about anything that is particularly holy. People get nervous to be quiet in the presence of God. And of course out in routine, ordinary, everyday situations, the average person is scared stiff of the introduction of God into the conversation even, let alone His presence.
You meet somebody in the supermarket and say, “Oh let me tell you what the Lord did for me”. I’ll tell you, you may be in the coffee section, but your friend will be over by the Skippy peanut butter before you’re done. Your friend will be long gone. People are afraid. Well, this is a throwback to the reaction of fallen human nature, isn’t it?
God went and said, “Adam, where art thou”, after sin had entered into the human race, you remember? Read the opening chapters of Genesis and review that for yourself. And He said, “Adam, where art thou”? Well Adam said, “I heard Thy voice in the garden and I was afraid, and I hid myself”. To be afraid of God is one of the dreadful results of the entrance of sin into people’s lives into the human race. So, the average person out in everyday living is afraid to have you mention anything about God. Well if you want be fruitful, you want to know God better, to spend more time in His presence, listen to Him as He speaks to you through His Word and by the blessed, indwelling Holy Spirit. To be friends with God is one of the basic pre-requisites of a fruitful, Christian life. How friendly are you with your heavenly father? Do you feel comfortable with Him or do you rush into His presence with a laundry list of, “bless me’s”, and then rush out again? Spend some time with the Lord. Let Him love you. Let Him put His great arms around you, Let Him whisper to you, His great truths. Get to know your Lord and you’ll find fruitfulness is part of the blessed, wonderful result. It’s good, isn’t it?
Well, you can be fruitful in every age of life. I’m looking now at Psalm 92:13 and 14, “Those that be planted in the house the Lord shall flourish. In the courts of our God they shall still bring forth fruit in old age. They should be fat and flourishing”. Still bring forth fruit in old age. I pray every day that the last years of my life maybe the best. I just keep on asking, “Lord I want to go out with a bang, not a whimper”. I want the last years of my life to be the best. I want every year to be better than the ones before. That’s not too big a request to make of an Almighty God, is it? At least He hasn’t convicted me, that it’s an outlandish request. I believe He’s hearing it and answering it. I’m happier in Jesus today than I ever have been all my life beloved, that’s for sure.
Am I talking to anybody who’s in the 60s and 70s and 80s, maybe 90s, and perhaps you’ve said to yourself, ‘Well, I can’t get around much anymore. Can’t do much anymore”, and you’ve sort of resigned yourself to be a dear, spiritual, nobody. And you’re a little disappointed, and I hesitate to use the word but maybe some of my listeners may feel a little bitterness about the fact that you are, as you say, “I’m on the shelf now. I’m out to pasture”. Oh boy, that’s rough isn’t it? Especially if you’ve had a vigorous and resultful life in the years that have gone before. Well I want to tell you something. There is a usefulness that God has for you, no matter what your age may, be nor what your circumstances may be.
Perhaps arthritis has you anchored to a wheelchair, you can’t get around much. You can talk on the telephone. You can drop a postcard to somebody and encourage him or her. You can to speak to people around you in tones of love and concern. You can actually start being concerned for other people. I’ve noticed especially that in retirement homes and nursing homes and hospitals where people are ill, often times their first concern is for themselves and their own creature comforts. The best way to make a successful visit in a hospital is to say, “Tell me about yourself. How’s it going?”, and then after the person has, as we say, run down talking about himself or herself, you point lovingly to the Lord Jesus and get on your way.
It’s strange but we are humanly interested in ourselves. Isn’t that true? Who’s face do you look for first in any group photo? You guessed it. Oh, that’s part of human nature, but part of the divine nature comes out in Philippians, for example, “Look not every man on his own things only, but every man also on the things of others, each one considering other better than himself, in honor, preferring one another”. To honor a person, to prefer another person, let him go first, to seek the interest in the things that concern the other person. You may be anchored beloved, and the years may have tied you down or slowed you down as the case may be, but you still can be interested in God and interested in people, can you not? You still can shine for Jesus without saying a word. You still can have the glow of God’s presence on you. When people enter your room they can feel God’s presence, isn’t it true? Oh yes, it’s true, and that’s what I want for you and what I want for me.
God’s presence, still bring forth fruit in old age. Well, if I’m talking to somebody that’s in his salad days, you’re in junior high or high school or college or graduate school. You feel as though you’d live forever and you say, “Oh there’s Cook again, he’s talking to the old folks”. Well, no. I’m talking to everybody because this whole matter of being fruitful as time goes by depends upon how well you know your Lord and how interested you are in other people. It’s possible to be quite successful at the same time, utterly self-centered as a young person. So, let’s put our sights where they belong, our perspective where it belongs. Let the Spirit of God fill your life, get interested in helping other people, and let God shine through you, so you’ll be fruitful in every good work. Alright?
Now, one of the qualities of being fruitful is that your life is open to a deep implanting of the Word of God. In the parable of the good seed and the sower, our Savior said, “The other seed fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold”. Not everybody has the same degree of success in spiritual life, but everybody could be fruitful if you allow the Word of God, a deep entrance into your life. Shallow consideration of the Word of God, gives forth shallow living. Deep consideration of and obedience to the Word of God, brings forth real fruitfulness. There’s the difference.
Well, that’s quite a mouthful today, isn’t it? I trust that God blesses it to our hearts. Be fruitful today, beloved, and that comes from knowing God. Knowing God, being consistent in your daily life with the God whom you serve, and letting Him make you a blessing to other folk.Let’s pray.
Father God, make us fruitful people today. May our lives honor the Lord whom we say we love and serve, because we do love you, Lord. Amen.
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