Forgiven and Fruitful: Wednesday Night Bible Study Notes

Last week's Bible Study was good. Still turning over the message in my head. Sharing the goodness below.

One of the more obscure parables is the parable of the barren fig tree found in Luke 13:6-9 

Galileans had gone into the temple and killed Galileans whose blood was mixed in with the sacrificial blood. It was a horrible event. Jews believed bad things happening meant a wrong standing with God. It was against this backdrop that Jesus taught the parable of the fig tree.

God is the owner o f this vineyard. Jesus the vineyard manager.  God noticed the fig tree was not fruitful but Jesus asked for one more year to make it fruitful.

How does fruitfulness really take place  in our lives?

1.     Fruit is received. If you’re going to be fruitful, you have to start with God's work in us. God’s work didn’t end at the cross. It continues in our fruitfulness. This Holy Spirit makes us fruitful, not our works.

2.     Fruit is internal. Most think it’s fruit vs. bad. But it’s really fruit vs. good works like serving, witnessing, giving. We use the external things to measure fruit, but if we don’t have love these things don’t matter. If the Pharisees lived today, we’d be enamored of them. They memorized scripture, never missed a tithe, crossed the sea to win converts, prayed three times a day, but there was nothing on the inside of them. Good works are good but if they don’t come out of the foundation of Christ in us, they amount to nothing. People being changed through you, doesn’t mean you’re being changed.

3.     Fruit is passionate. In our spiritual walk, we have warring battles between the spirit and the natural. Good things can take more of our desire than Jesus. It’s not good vs. bad like we traditionally think, but good things vs. Jesus. If you want more fruit, fall more in love with Jesus. The Holy Spirit points us to Jesus instead of the good things. We can get so busy with good works that we forget Jesus

4.     Fruit is seasonal. The benefit of fruit being seasonal is that it’s cultivated by God instead of us trying to conjure it up. God puts us in circumstances where fruit will grow. Marriage cultivates the fruit of kindness. Parenthood cultivates the fruit of patience. We have to discern the season to see the potential for fruit bearing. Because its seasonal, fruit growth is gradual not immediate. Declaring that we have fruit is really pride. One day we will look up and see fruit we lacked after a season of hard times.

5.     Fruit unifies. Since we live by the spirit, let US walk by the spirit. We help each other grow. An unfruitful tree harms the rest of the vineyard. Fruitful trees help other trees grow because of cross pollination. Jesus brings the right people to help us grow.