Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

How to Live a Fruitful Life

by Margaret Silvester

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5, NLT

I’m writing this seed at the beginning of a New Year having thanked God for the year that has passed and having surrendered the coming year to Him with whatever it may hold. A fruitful life is a life lived with Jesus and for Jesus, with Him as the centre. It’s being made like Him in attitude, reactions, thinking, feeling and living. It’s “Self on the cross and Christ upon the throne.” A life can only be fruitful when it is lived in uncompromising obedience to the word of God which has direct commands for us to obey. Jesus will call us His friends if we do what He commands (John 15:14).

To live a fruitful life, it is essential that we ‘Stand firm in the Lord’ (Philippians 4:1) Two ladies in the church had had a major difference. It was so serious that Paul, in prison, wrote an open letter to be read to the whole church asking the members not to take sides and form a gossip club but to bring reconciliation. If these two women thought their disagreement was private, they were wrong. It affected the whole community. Forgiveness and, where possible, reconciliation, is the basis for a fruitful life.

It is essential that we ‘Rejoice in the Lord always’ (Philippians 4:4). Rejoicing and gentleness are linked together. They are characteristics produced in a life led by the Holy Spirit, and they don’t fit well with a person who is constantly anxious. The Philippians were told, ‘Don’t be anxious about anything’ (Philippians 4:6). The word used for anxious is self-centred worry, which is counterproductive. Because the Lord is near, there is no need to be anxious. Prayer and rejoicing are the antidotes to anxiety. Anxiety is often the enemy of prayer. There is, of course, anxiety which has taken root within some people due to their past experiences which need to be healed by Jesus.

We must ‘Grow in godliness’ (Philippians 4:8-9) In a nutshell, this means we will be desiring to know Jesus better, more intimately, and to become more like Him. The way to grow in godliness is to spend time with Jesus, reading His word and memorising it day by day. The battle for godliness starts in the mind. How we think will affect us emotionally, and also how we speak and act. We need, therefore, to be careful and intentional at what we look at, listen to, and think about. The devil is always on the look out for footholds and strongholds. When Paul wrote these words, he was conscious that his time was short. Any time, day or night, he could be taken to the cross prepared for him. So, his exhortation is ‘Think about whatever is pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy.’ In other words, don’t let the world and its values wash over you. They pollute.

It is essential that we ‘Learn to be content’ (Philippians 4:11). Paul had learned to be content in every circumstance, whether good or bad. The ability to live this life style was not in his own strength. It was God-given strength, available to all who trust Him. We live in a discontented world where the majority of people constantly want more. As friends of Jesus, it is right to look back and thank Him for the past, but if we keep harping back to the past, where we had what we don’t have in the present, we will be unable to move into the new season of fruitfulness that God has prepared for us. ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain’ (1 Timothy 6:6).

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.

 

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