Our lives having meaning is a desire that all of us have. We long for our lives to have significance beyond the mundane activities of daily life. As Christians, our hope is that we can impact other people’s lives in a significant way so that they know the Lord themselves. Such bearing of fruit for the Lord is of eternal significance.
Fruit Bearing Ground
In Mark 4:1-20, Jesus speaks about how we can bear fruit in our lives. It is all about how we respond to his word. In the parable, we read about different responses to the word of God. The one group of people who do bear fruit have a clear and definite response to it. We read that they hear it, accept it, and then bear fruit in different measures.
Hearing and Accepting
Our lives bearing fruit for the Lord means that we hear the word of God and that we accept it. Bearing fruit is all about listening to what the Lord says and applying it to our lives. The focus is on what we do when we hear the word of God.
This month, while teaching biblical counseling to some Bible college students, I saw people bearing fruit for the Lord. During the lessons, we watched videos of people who had been transformed by him. These people were a blessing and an inspiration for us.
Three Examples of Fruit Bearing
Think about those people in the videos. One was a young man who, back in the 1990s, wrestled with accepting the Lord’s teaching about dealing with his hatred of his abusive mother. There is no way that he could have known back then that because he heard the word of God and accepted it, he would help people on the other side of the world 20 years later.
The second person was a woman who, again in the 1990s, was caught up in sexual sin. She was impacted by the loving care of a pastor and his wife, engaged in a serious study of scripture, was struck by the absoluteness of who Jesus is, and repented of her prideful heart.
The third person was quite different. He was a medical doctor teaching about how to help those who suffer PTSD. When he gave that lecture on the other side of the world, there is no way that he would have known that someone in the UK heard answers he had been looking for for years.
Significance and Purpose
Having a life of significance and purpose means that we listen to the word of God and accept it. In this way, we bear fruit. Three people who live in the U.S., unknown to them, bore fruit in the lives of people on the other side of the world. The young man who accepted the word of God regarding his hatred of his abusive mother, and the young woman who understood that Jesus is God and repented of her sexual sin, had no idea back then in the 1990s, that as they accepted the word of God and he transformed their hearts that they would bear fruit 20 years later on another continent. The medical doctor would have no idea that as he studied scripture about how to help people struggling with PTSD, that his teaching would be used years later, again on another continent.
What an encouragement for us to accept what the Lord is saying to us through the word today. Fruit will be borne, perhaps in places and ways beyond our knowing. Bearing fruit is not about us. The significance given is to the Lord.