Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7)
Henry Wingblade said that Christian personality is hidden deep inside us. It is unseen, like the soup carried in a tureen high over a waiter’s head. No one knows what’s inside,unless the waiter is bumped and he trips! Just so, people don’t know what’s inside us until we’ve been bumped. But if Christ is living inside, what spills out is the fruit of the Spirit.
What spills out of you when you are bumped? What have you sown?
In John 15, Jesus uses the vine as an illustration. We remain in the vine by remaining in the Word. Only then can we produce fruit of the Spirit. Be diligent students of the Word soaking your study in prayer that his Spirit would humble you to submit to every truth in it. Rooting yourselves in His Word allows the Holy Spirit to control your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions.
A soul without the Word or a branch without the vine, can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.
Andrew Murray has written eloquently of the role of the Holy Spirit in connecting us to Christ:
All the fullness is in Jesus; the fullness of grace and truth, out of which we receive grace for grace. The Holy Spirit is the appointed conveyancer, whose special work it is to make Jesus and all there is in him for us ours in personal appropriation, in blessed experience. He is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus…
Our job is small but critical; we must ask for the Spirit to work in us. It’s so simple that we forget to do it. Jesus said, “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?”
We can renew ourselves to let the Spirit flow through us day by day and hour by hour. Just as the branch needs the continued and increasing flow of that sap that it may bring its fruit to perfection, so we thirst for an increasing flow of the Spirit.
Plant the Word
Want fruit? Plant the Word, read the Word daily for nourishment, pray continually, flee sin. “Do not present your members to sin, as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members as instruments for righteousness.”
The noted Bible scholar, James M. Gray, told a story that underscores the importance of reading the Scriptures for personal growth. He said that when he was a young Bible teacher he became deeply impressed by the peace and spiritual poise of a friend with whom he often talked.
Since Gray wanted that same stability, he asked his companion the secret of his confident bearing and positive outlook. “It all started through reading Ephesians,” said the man. Gray was surprised by this simple response. He had read Ephesians many times but had never experienced the same strength he saw in his friend.
Noticing Fray’s puzzled look, the man explained. “On one occasion, when I was on a short vacation, I took a pocket edition of Ephesians with me. Lying down one afternoon, I read all six chapters. My interest was so aroused that I read the entire epistle again. In fact, I did not finally lay it down until I had gone through it some 15 times.” He then said, “When I arose to go into the house, I was in possession of Ephesians; or better yet, it was in possession of me. I had the feeling that I had been lifted up to sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, a feeling that was new to me.” This testimony encouraged Gray to master the Scriptures for himself. He began to saturate his mind and heart with God’s Word so that he could freely and effectively communicate it to others.
Christ gave us life when we were spiritually dead. Fill yourselves with His Word; present yourselves as instruments for Him to use in His work in the world.
I supposed I knew my Bible,
Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
Now a bit of John or Matthew,
Now a snatch of Genesis,
Certain chapters of Isaiah,
Certain Psalms (the twenty-third)
Twelfth of Romans, First of Proverbs–
Yes, I thought I knew the Word!
But I found that thorough reading
Was a different thing to do,
And the way was unfamiliar
When I read the Bible through.
You who like to play at Bible,
Dip and dabble, here and there.
Just before you kneel aweary,
And yawn through a hurried prayer;
You who treat the Crown of Writings
As you treat no other book–
Just a paragraph disjointed,
Just a crude impatient look–
Try a worthier procedure
Try a broad and steady view;
You will kneel in very rapture
When you read the Bible through!
— Amos R. Wells
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