LUKE 8:15: “But the seed in the good ground — these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, produce fruit.” CSB
OBSERVATION: What is the key to a fruitful life? As a follower of Jesus Christ I know that fruitfulness is not the same as success. It is not exclusive of success, but it is not defined by it. I can be successful in the eyes of the world and live a very unfruitful life. To live a fruitful life is defined in the book of Galatians.
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.” Galatians 5:22-23 CSB
Paul was very clear, we can have success, even success in ministry, and not be living a fruitful life.
- “If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 CSB
Fruitfulness is the outflow of a heart that is being transformed by the Spirit of God, into the image of Jesus Christ, through the revelation of God’s Word! It is not a manifestation of 9 unique qualities growing in our life. Rather, it is the life of Jesus Christ becoming preeminent in and through our lives. It is Christ in us that is our hope of glory. It is Christ through us that is the fruit we need. So how can we be more fruitful?
Jesus gives us three things to focus on. We must receive God’s Word into our lives with:
– A honest heart,
– A good heart,
– And, a persevering heart.
- “But the seed in the good ground — these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, produce fruit.”
An honest heart is one that is not trying to manipulate the Word of God to their own advantage. It is not seeking God’s blessings upon what it wants to do. Rather, it is seeking God’s Kingdom and what He wants to do. It is a heart that is honest about its doubts, fears, and failures. This heart realizes its deep need for the transformation of the Spirit within.
A good heart is one that places it faith and trust in Christ alone. It is a heart fully aware that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights, who is rich in mercy and loving kindness. It does not presume to approach the Lord on its own merits or worthiness, but solely through the blood of Jesus Christ. It is not good within itself, but good because of gift of salvation through faith in Christ alone.
A persevering heart is not dissuaded by the trials and storms of life. It understands that without the storms of life the seed of God’s Word will never sink down deeply into the soil of the heart and take full root. It is the storms of life that brings the revelation of God’s faithfulness and His love. When this heart holds on to the Word of God, trusting God’s faithfulness, focused on the things that are eternal, and daily being renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit – this heart brings forth fruit unto God!
Fruitfulness is not an event. It is a lifelong pursuit. It does not come in a moment. It is the outgrowth of a continual life of faith and trust in the Lord. It is not found in a single verse of Scripture. It is found in the daily pursuit of the whole counsel of God’s Word. It is the highest, holiest, and most important pursuit of the heart. It is the pursuit of Jesus Christ in His fullness!
Lord, help me to walk with a honest, good, and persevering heart. I pray that the seed of Your Word would not fall upon the stony path and be devoured. I pray that it would not be quenched because my heart lacks depth and root. And I pray that it would not be choked out by the pursuit of success, or the cares and worries of this life. Grant me the grace to walk in the fruitfulness of Your Spirit in an ever growing, ever increasing, and ever revealing way.
In Jesus Name!