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Seeds of the Kingdom


by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

15 October 2011

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You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last.
John 15:16, NIV

As the season changes from summer to autumn in England, the trees and hedgerows are groaning with fruit – apples, blackberries, chestnuts, and hazel nuts in abundance. I read an article in The Times newspaper recently which reported that there were so many acorns falling from the trees in the New Forest this year that 600 pigs needed to be released into the area to clear them up! Apparently each mature oak tree is capable of producing 50,000 acorns!

Isaiah tells us that people who have been saved by Jesus, who have been healed and set free by Him, will be called “oaks of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:3), “a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour”. One of the ways we can display His splendour is by bearing fruit in our lives. In today’s verse Jesus says that this is what we were chosen and appointed to do. What a challenge for us to replicate the 50,000 acorns that an oak tree can bear!

However, an oak tree does not have to work hard at producing fruit; it merely has to remain with its roots firmly in good ground and the fruit will grow. Similarly, Jesus says: “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit” (John 15:5).

Nor does the oak have responsibility for what happens to the fruit – it merely has to produce the acorns. In the same way we may never know what happens to the seeds that we sow for the Kingdom. Some of them may fall on stony ground, or among the thistles and thorns that Jesus describes in the parable of ‘the Sower’ (Matthew 13). Our responsibility is to keep on being fruitful and sowing the seed.

An oak tree is one of the toughest and most durable of trees. It can often survive in a forest fire when other trees are burned up. In a severe storm in England some years ago oaks remained standing when other trees were blown down by the gales. The only sure way to destroy an oak is to cut it off from its roots! As Christians we should similarly be able to withstand fiery trials and storms of opposition as long as we continue to be rooted deeply in Jesus. We will then produce lasting fruit for the Kingdom and display God’s splendour by exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit that Paul writes of in Galatians 5:22-23.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for choosing me. Please help me to remain in You and to bear abundant and lasting fruit in my life to bring glory to You. Amen.

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.


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