[Faith Race 10-31-2020]
Press on in the Word
Bearing fruit to the glory of God commences with the word of God being sown as seed in the heart of man (Luke 8:11), and the word is the word of the kingdom (Mark 4:14; Matthew 13:19). Once sown, the seeds will experience the different results as explained in the Parable of the Sower (read Bearing Fruit of the Word posted on this website on October 24, 2020), during which the seeds will be tested, grow, and become a fruit-bearing tree.
The seed that contains the word or message of the kingdom (“the word”) that bears the fruit of righteousness to the glory God the Father is small, like a mustard seed. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the smallest of all seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Matthew 13:31 (Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19).
The word spoken to hearers by the Lord creates powerful faith that makes hearers believe in God, which is credited to the believer as righteousness. This is the righteousness that was credited or accounted to Abraham, our father of faith, and imputed to us who believe in God who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead (Romans 4:20-24).
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. Hebrews 12:1-2. But without faith it is impossible to please Him. Hebrews 11:6. So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17.
Jesus told His disciples that nothing would be impossible for them, if they had faith as a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20).
The four seasons of seedtime and harvest apply to seeds that are sown in the ground. While the Parable of the Sower taught by Jesus covers four types of grounds that represent the hearts of the hearers of the word (read Bearing Fruit of the Word post), we will concentrate on the heart that bears fruit.
The Four Seasons
The four seasons relate to sowing and reaping, during which time the good and noble heart receives the word, accepts the word, understands the word, and through patience bears fruit.
The first season takes place when the word will be the subject of the assault of the devil, who immediately steals the word from the hardened heart that does not receive the word with joy. The heart of one who receives the word with joy is one in which will overcome the assault of Satan, by faith, and allow the word to penetrate and grow.
The second season takes place when tribulation and persecution will be experienced by the hearer of the word because of the word. The hearer who receives the word with joy and believes will persevere and not stumble and fall away in temptation. It is in this season that the believer’s faith has grown to the point where he or she will remain in the light (where seeds grow) and not stumble, and relies on the Lord to be given a way to escape temptation.
It is written… Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles because the light is not in him.” John 11:9-10.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls. No temptation has overtaken you except that which is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make away of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.
The third season takes place when the worldly pressures distract and derail the faith of one who displays signs of growth in faith. The cares of the world, deceitfulness of riches, pleasures of life, and desires for other things besides the kingdom of God end up choking the word, and makes the hearer fruitless. The believer with a good and noble heart perseveres with patience by the grace of God though faith in the Lord Jesus Christ..
It is written… To those who have obtained precious like precious faith with us by the righteousness of God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lusts. 2 Peter 1:1-4.
Finally, the fourth season takes place when fruit is produced in the life of a believer who is a hearer and doer of the word, by believing and abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ (James 1:22-25; John 15:4-5). This is the place where the believer is in right standing with God, and prayers are answered by God in the affirmative, for the believer’s prayers will be in accord with God’s will. In accord with the manner that the word is sown in the hearts of believers (sparingly to bountifully) and their maturity (babes to mature), believers will produce thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or one hundredfold.
Jesus said, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:7-8.
Fruitful Growth of Faith
There is a pattern by which a seed grows to maturity to become a fruit-bearing tree. The word of God sowed in the heart of a believer implants the kingdom of God by faith and grows to maturity in love. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21.
God’s divine power imbedded in the word brings forth fruit in the life of a believer, by the power of the Holy Spirit. For if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, which disqualifies one from inheriting the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21).
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23,25.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ… Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8,10-11. (Read Make Your Call And Election Sure posted on this website on October 10, 2020).
Essential to the growth of fruit produced in a believer’s life is patience (Luke 8:15). It is in the course of the seasons toward producing fruit that believers must persevere, endure, and overcome trials and tribulations as their faith is being perfected, from beginning to finish.
As it is written… My brethren, count it all pure when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-15. And not only that, but we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit that was given to us. Romans 5:3-5.
And now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13.
Keep running the race that is set before you with endurance, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2), while bearing much fruit in the Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Praise, Please, and Bless God, in the Lord Jesus Christ!