The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




An Apple, Anyone??

"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:8).

I have heard (and preached) many sermons wrapped around the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John. They have mainly dealt with fruit-bearing. Mostly they speak about God being the gardener, Jesus the vine and us the branches. They go on to tell us about the impossibility of producing fruit without a connection to God. More often than not, the fruit being spoken of is either leading someone to Christ or the personal "fruits of the spirit" in Galatians 5:22 & 23. There is much, much more to this bearing fruit that meets the eye though. Don't get me wrong.....Winning souls to the Lord echoes down to us through the corridors of time as expressed in Jesus' last words of Mark 16:15-16. The fruits of the spirit that Paul speaks of should be evident in us, as should be Peter's list in 2 Peter 1:5-8.

Producing fruit in our lives can be manifested in other ways. When we share what we have with those in need, we are certainly being fruit bearers. Whenever I hear the term, Macedonians, I think of giving beyond our means. "And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given to the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.....they gave as much as they were able and even beyond their ability..... entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints" (2 Cor 8:1-4). Sharing with those in need, especially when you don't have a lot yourself, is an exquisite way to produce fruit.

One of my favorite parts of worship service is the singing. It is a way for us to just give praise to our Lord. In 1984, Kirk Dearman wrote this wonderful short song entitled, "We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise." The words are simple, but poignant.....We bring the sacrifice of praise, into the house of the Lord,

We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.
And we offer up to You, the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And we offer up to you, the sacrifices of joy.

The song is based on words found in the Book of Hebrews..."Let us continually offer to God, a sacrifice of praise----the fruit of the lips that confess His name" (13:15). Praising the Lord is a way that we bear His fruit. This is not just limited our formal worship services though...."Let us CONTINUALLY offer to God." If God is our Lord and Jesus is our Savior, our hearts ought to be filled with praises...Some may even make it to our lips. You see....There all many ways to produce fruit for the Lord...

Have a great day....Go about doing good.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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