[musings from the manse]
Continuing to reflect upon what does it mean to grow in Christ by bearing fruit in our lives as followers.
The second aid to us growing good fruit is full sun and good air circulation.
We need full sun. We need the full Son of God. We need full Jesus in our lives. To produce good fruit, we need to know Jesus intimately and passionately.
As Jesus says in John 15:4:
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
Without Jesus, we have no hope of producing good fruit in our lives.
What Jesus is saying is that you need to make sure this is your top priority. Remain in me. Dwell with me. Stay with me. Abide in me. We need to be united with Christ in our lives as disciples. So closely connected that the join is not visible.
We come to know Jesus by spending time with him. We need have Jesus on in the background of all our daily living. Brother Lawrence talked of practising the presence of Christ, something he learnt the significance of doing the washing up in the monastery kitchen.
Without the weekly rhythm of church services or house group it may be difficult for us to keep up Jesus at the centre of our lives in lockdown, but we need to keep him there, to find new rhythms and practices to make sure Jesus is front and centre.
We need full sun. We need full Son of God. We need full Jesus in our lives if we are to produce good fruit.
We also need good air circulation. We need good Spirit circulation.
The Greek word for Spirit is “pneuma” which can also mean breath or wind; things of the air.
Followers of Jesus are to be pneumatic beings. Not like Henry vacuum cleaners, but pneumatic in the sense that God’s Spirit pervades every aspect of our lives. As Jesus says in John 16 that the Spirit comes to guide us into righteousness, guide into right living: right living which is seen in good fruit.
The Spirit, of course, produces that fruit of the Spirit. Those characteristics of God’s nature that can come to define our nature. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Paul talks just after this about keeping in step with the Spirit, following the Spirit’s leading closely.
We need to find space, which may not be easy in lockdown, to hear from the Spirit. Take a walk and allow God to talk to you. Find a corner of your house and tell people you need some time alone. Find those quiet moments with God so you can encounter his Spirit afresh.
We need good air circulation. We need good Spirit circulation if we are to produce good fruit.
Yours in Christ