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IS YOUR LIFE FRUITFUL?
Is Your Life Fruitful?
by Richard A. Cox Jr., author of the book I. We, Us: A Journey of Personal Growth and Development
As Christians we want our lives to be fruitful. Our spiritual fruit is a representation to the world that God lives within our hearts. Naturally we know fruit is the result of a completed growth cycle first started as a seed being planted in rich soil then nurtured until the time of harvest in its season.
In order for spiritual fruit to be produced in our lives, we must have good seeds planted in the prepared soil of our hearts that can be fertilized to grow to maturity to reap a harvest in season. Our spiritual fruit is described in Galatians 5:22-23 as, "…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance…" which are produced in our personalities by God's Spirit. This spiritual fruit is evidence to believers and unbelievers that your heart has received the seeds of faith, which produce a fruitful harvest in your life.
God spoke to my heart about understanding the spiritual process of obtaining a fruitful life. We have heard many sermons about understanding the "fruit of the spirit" expressed in our personalities by God's Spirit. How are prayers sent to God in heaven, in an intangible form, and then transferred back to Earth as a tangible answer? God began to speak to my heart with this simple formula: hearing faith plus praise equals abundant fruit.
Having the ability to hear the Word of God is very important. In Psalm 94:9 "God designed the ear so we might hear and respond to Him, also God hears and responds to our prayers". In a biblical sense, appropriate response requires first a message but also understanding and acceptance from whomever gives the message Romans 10:17. Hearing faith brings a message of solution by faith that echoes hearing that otherwise would have been ignored.
God has designed seeds of faith to be planted in our hearts by hearing the Word of God preached from a minister sent from God. In Romans 14:10, the Bible says "how can you hear without a preacher and how can he preach unless he is sent from God?" It is important that we are tuned into the message going forth in the sermon. Are you listening for a personalized Word from God to speak to your current situation in your life? We must prepare our hearts so the soil of our hearts can receive the seeds of faith set forth by the minister. In Romans 10:14-15 the Bible says, "people need to hear if they are to believe". That means we need a messenger that is sent and anointed by God.
How are the seeds of faith fertilized and watered? It's through your praise. Praising God indicates I received the spoken Word of God. Praise indicates my belief in my heart that God will produce fruit. Praise indicates fruit from the seeds of faith planted in my heart will be manifested in my life. One way we praise God is by using the fruit of our lips to express thanksgiving and worship for who God is. In Hebrew 13:15, it says "by Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually." This means at every opportunity when we think about the goodness of God, we should seize the moment to praise God with our lips to bring forth a shower of praise to fertilize and water the seeds of faith planted in our hearts.
There is a connection between our heart and mouth that indicates what type of seeds have been planted in our heart. Matthew 14:18 says, "but those things which proceeds out of the mouth come forth from the heart". Also, Romans 10:10 explains the heart represents our inner nature spiritually and the mouth is the expression of our inner nature here on earth.
So each time you get an opportunity to praise God (in church, in the car, at home) visualize your praise as watering the seeds of faith already planted in the green, healthy and vibrant garden of your heart.
Today let us be encouraged to strive for a fruitful life. As you come to church, let the spirit of expectation prepare your heart for what God will speak to your situation. Be open to receive the seeds of faith. Throughout the service, give God showers of praise for the victory in your life, which expresses a confirmation to God that you have received the seeds of faith.
Watch and see the harvest of blessings begin to manifest in your life. Your praise today might be the fruit you have been waiting to come forth in your life. Remember, hearing faith plus praise equals fruit.