Monday, August 18, 2014

Wonderful Fruit

Jesus’ words: “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples.  This brings great glory to my Father.”  John 15:8

Every morning I go outside first thing to check on my “babies” – our few tomato plants. We have never had much success with growing big healthy tomatoes, either because the weather has not been conducive or the location has not been ideal. But this year has been different. We found another location to plant the seedlings and they took off. The vines are loaded and we are enjoying them to the fullest. What delight to see fruit developing – even more so, eating big ripe tomatoes.

In the same way it gives me so much joy to see spiritual fruit developing in some of my believer friends. Their names have been changed. Every little bit of growth is a big thing to me. How much more to God, the gardener of our souls.

Zahra is developing the fruit of quietly and sacrificially giving her money to those serving the Lord. She doesn’t have an abundance of riches since she is a graduate student so when I witness her giving with no one else knowing it is evident that the Holy Spirit is successfully at work in growing her spiritually fruitful.

When Jamila prays for me there is clear evidence that she has gone beyond being preoccupied with herself. Her prayers actually sound pastoral. Amazing fruit!

Shazia does not run away from sharing her testimony publicly. Courage flows through her. Her Muslim neighbors don’t appreciate her sharing but she refuses to have a silent faith. Developing courage is a beautiful fruit.

Masoma took off a week from work to provide hospitality for guests in her home. It may have been holiday time from her job but not from work at home. The fruit of hospitality is beautiful to the Lord.

A believer couple has been deeply wounded by some Muslims. They had been so helpful and kind and treated badly and yet they forgive. After a season of pulling away they decided to try again to show kindness to them. They have evidenced taking tangible fruitful steps in the ministry of reconciliation and mercy. God must be so pleased.

Halima’s faith is being stretched as she trusts God for the selling of her house. Developing faith is a wonderful fruit which pleases God very much.

Fatima could easily get angry with her domineering husband but she continues to show respect. She is very fruitful.

Haneen has become like a spiritual mother to believers in her people group. She has her own personal needs, nevertheless, she has matured significantly and has become a wise counselor and interceder. Beautiful fruit!

Not all the believers I know evidence spiritual fruit to me but the Gardener is at work in each one. He tends His plants carefully. I am also one of His plants. How I long to be fruitful spiritually bringing glory to His name and being useful in His Kingdom. Bruce Wilkinson’s book, Secrets of the Vine, is so inspirational about becoming fruitful. If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.

Dear heavenly Father, please help all my believer friends to desire to become spiritually fruitful. Help me to model what it means to be fruitful.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.