FROM THE GENERAL OVERSEER,
Pastor (Dr) E. O. Abina
ALIVE TO BE FRUITFUL
Sunday 24th January, 2016.
“He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. “Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ “But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. ‘And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down” (Luke 13:6-9).
Our being alive today has a divine purpose connected to it. Whether you believe that or not, I want to tell you that it is true. Your privilege to be alive this year has a purpose and I pray that you will not defeat that purpose or disappoint our God who gives that privilege. We are alive to fulfill the purpose of our existence not just to maintain or retain the world’s population. The parable of our Lord before us in this message is an indication of the fact that God, your Creator, preserved your life for a purpose and that purpose is to bear fruit. You may be surprised to hear that, but that should not be a surprise to you as a child of God who knows how to live for God and not for him/herself. God is seeking from each one of us fruit that we are expected to bear as individuals and church as a whole. When the owner of the fig tree in the parable came to seek fruit at the beginning of another year, and found none, he expressed his displeasure about the existence of the tree after he had been looking on it for three consecutive years and found nothing. He was displeased that he asked the keeper of the vineyard to cut it down instead of occupying the land without anything to show for it. The question for you is, since your three years in this church or in Christ, do you have anything to show to the Lord as fruits of your life for which the Lord may commend you and say, “Thank you, good and faithful steward, you have been faithful in small thing and I will make you inherit greater things?”
What kind of fruit does the Lord expect from me, you may want to ask? Yes there are at least three kinds of fruit the Lord expects from every child of God:
(I) The fruit of repentance: In Matt. 3:8; John the Baptist told his audience to “bear the fruit worthy of repentance”. A child of God is expected to live the life that is worthy of his/her calling. “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Eph 4:1). The Lord Jesus Himself made the statement that: “By their fruits, you will know them”.
(II) There is also the fruit of the Spirit which should also characterize the life of a Christian, this fruit of the Spirit is mentioned in Galatians 5:22, 23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law”. We are all familiar with this passage of the Scripture. It is not knowing it alone that matters but actualizing it.
(III) Then comes the fruit of soulwinning. None of us want to be biologically barren so also we should not be spiritually barren. Everyone of us is designated a soulwinner you and I are expected to birth babes into the kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus said in John 15:16 that He chose and appointed us to go and bear fruit that our fruit should remain. You need to ask yourself how much of the fruit mentioned above did you bring forth in the past years or in the just concluded year. Incidentally, this is the year of “ENLARGEMENT” and we are all expected to make progress in all the kind of the fruits mentioned above. Let it be registered in your mind that you are alive to be fruitful not only in this year but also in subsequent years as long as you are alive. It is my prayer that we shall not disappoint God but we will please Him as we bear fruit and fulfill His mandate in life.
Please stand up and pray this prayer before we recite this year’s Faith Declaration positive confession.
Prayer: Lord, let me not live to be useless (turn it to prayer)
2016 Faith Declaration Confession: “YEAR OF ENLARGEMENT” (Psalm 16:8).