Do you ever feel like you aren’t doing much for the Lord? Are you ever tempted to envy the gifts or ministries of others?
Ever look at others in your church who are leading Bible studies or visiting prisons or rehab centers and think “I’m not doing anything for the Lord”?
I think there are going to be a lot of surprises on Judgment Day. Like the widow who gave only a couple mites. It probably didn’t seem to her like she was giving much at all, but Jesus said she gave more than all the others who were making a show of the “huge” gifts they were giving out of their prosperity.
Think of believers in Paul’s day. They could have been envious of the apostle, going from city to city, establishing churches, leading hundreds to the Lord, raising up leaders, witnessing to Caesar himself. Most of Paul’s converts were just ordinary people leading ordinary, non-glorious lives. Paul’s converts even included slaves. I can imagine how a slave back then could have been tempted to think, “What am I doing for the kingdom? I’m just working out in a field every day, gathering hay.”
It is God’s will that every one of his children bear fruit for him.
But most of us are just ordinary. We get up, help our kids get ready for school (those of us who have kids), clean the kitchen, or we go to our classes or our jobs and do our work, then come home. Many of us are involved in our local church, but most of us don’t preach on Sundays. We go to church, we attend a fellowship group (we don’t even lead it), we may serve in some ministry, but we don’t feel like we’re doing anything great or impressive. Again, I think many of us will be surprised on Judgement day when God rewards us for our “unimpressive” serving.
As I get older, I am becoming more and more aware that my time is limited. I want to be fruitful for God and I know he wants me to. So I have been thinking lately, how can I be more fruitful for Christ? Maybe some of you are thinking that same thing. So here are some ways (most of them unimpressive) to pursue fruitfulness for Jesus.
Here are 10 ways to be more fruitful for Jesus:
The first way to bear fruit for Jesus is to regularly take in and meditate on God’s word.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3
As we take in and meditate on God’s Word, he makes us fruitful. He changes us. He changes our desires. He shows us how to obey and please him. And he causes us to bear fruit in his timing. He prospers us spiritually.
The second way to bear fruit for Jesus is to serve others in whatever ways you can.
Try to serve others, no matter how small it seems. No matter how unimpressive your service may seem.
Serve your family (or your roommates). Do the dishes after supper. Clean up the kitchen for your wife. Serve your children (if you have them). Read a book to your kids. Take them to a park. Tell them a story at bedtime. Pray with them and for them.
Serve unbelieving family members when you can. Invite your unbelieving brother and his family for Thanksgiving, and serve them as much as you can. Even if you don’t have opportunity to share the gospel with them, live it out before them.
The third way to bear fruit for Jesus: Pray.
Pray for your children and grandchildren and descendants (if you have them). Pray that Jesus will save every one of them until he returns. Pray for lost family members. Pray that Jesus will save your neighbors and friends.
Pray for fellow believers. For those who are sick or going through hard times.
It may not feel like you are doing much when we pray, but God’s word tells us that the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. That God is a rewarder of those who seek him.
The fourth way to bear fruit for Jesus is to seek to live a life worthy of the gospel.
Paul urged the Ephesian church:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:25-32
We may not feel like we’re doing much when we forgive others and be kind to them, but when we do, we bear fruit for Jesus. We glorify God.
The fifth way to bear fruit for Jesus is to share the gospel in whatever way we can.
Don’t think you have to preach on a street corner or hand out tracts. Sharing the gospel can be as simple as telling your kids about Jesus. Reading a bible story to them at bedtime. Sharing God’s word with them as you go through life.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
The sixth way to bear fruit for Jesus is to build up and encourage anyone you can.
(Jesus) died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11
Look for ways you can encourage others. We need it. Most of us don’t feel like we’re doing much for the Lord. So when you say things like, “You know, the way you are trusting Jesus through this trial is really bringing glory to him,” or, “The way you are caring for your wife while she is struggling with this sickness is really glorifying God,” it can really encourage someone.
The seventh way to bear fruit for Jesus is to do whatever he has called us to in life as unto him.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
Your job may be pretty mundane. You may not feel like it is something spiritual. But God tells us to do WHATEVER he calls us to “heartily,” and to do it “as for the Lord and not for men.” It isn’t really your boss who you are working for, but Jesus. I’m not saying this is always easy to do. But pray. Ask Jesus to help you do your work as unto him. Ask him to help you work diligently, to serve him. If you do, you will bear fruit for Jesus.
The eighth way to bear fruit for Jesus is to give whatever you can to the kingdom, to the poor, to your church, to missions.
When we give it is like planting a seed. A seed doesn’t seem like much, but it will become a tree. Remember the widow’s mite. If you give $10 to the poor, you glorify Jesus and you will bear fruit for him.
Be as generous as you can, in whatever ways you can.
And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42
A generous soul will prosper, and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 Berean Study Bible
The ninth way to bear fruit for Jesus is to thank God as much as you can.
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
When we make a practice of giving thanks as often as we can and for as much as we can, Jesus fills us with the fruit of joy. He makes us even more thankful. It might not feel like we’re doing much when we give thanks, but it glorifies God. We bear fruit for Jesus.
The tenth way to bear fruit for Jesus is to ask him to make you fruitful for him.
Ask Jesus to show you how to use the gifts he has given you for his glory. It is his will to make us fruitful. It is his will that we bring him glory. He will certainly answer this prayer!
It is God’s will that every one of his children bear fruit for him. He gives us the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. God desires that you and I bear fruit for him far more than we desire it. God has good works for you to walk in that he has prepared in advance (Ephesians 2:10). If you pursue the Lord, he will cause you to bear fruit for him.