#938. Store what is good to reap what is good (15/11/23)
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we are reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:43-45 where we learn that our lives are to bear good fruit. Today, we want to consider how the promise of fruitfulness is to be followed up with our cooperation.
‘“[for] No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognised by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”’ (Luke 6:43-45)
Lesson: The fruit of the Spirit is the work of the Spirit but also involves our cooperation as we 'store what is good' in our hearts.
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The Bible promises that anyone who is born again of the Spirit and thus has the Spirit living in them will bear the fruit of the Spirit. This is inevitable because we are united to Christ much as a branch bears fruit because it is joined to the vine. However, this promised fruitfulness is also balanced with commands to: ‘make every effort’ (2 Peter 1:5); and, ‘throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles; and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…’ (Hebrews 12:1); and, ‘Repent and do the things you did at first…’ (Revelation 2:5).
Yesterday as we looked at the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5, it’s really important to notice that this promise is followed by the command:
‘Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.’ (Galatians 5:25-26)
The New Testament epistles are full of promise and exhortation; in fact, the exhortation to pursue good fruit - or holiness - is based and motivated by the promise.
In this week’s text, we have these words:
‘“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…”’
This, I believe, means at least 2 things:
Firstly, the good person - someone who is a true Christian - is someone who has a new appetite to pursue and store what is good. When someone is renewed by the Spirit, this will be evidenced in the love of Biblical truth.
Secondly, this is an exhortation to store what is good. Jesus is urging that we ‘sow’ truth into our minds and so ‘reap’ a harvest of good fruit. The Bible has power to transform us because it’s the Spirit-inspired Word of God.
The fruit of the Spirit is the work of the Spirit but also involves our cooperation as we 'store what is good' in our hearts.
What are we storing in our hearts? What we allow into our minds is a principle way of filling the heart. Are we devoted to truth? Do we believe that we will reap what we sow?
Let’s pray together:
‘“Holy Spirit, I thank you for inspiring your Word. I thank you for the power of truth. Forgive me where I have not believed and pursued the joy and transformation that are given to those who love and store your Word. I give my mind and heart to you again. Amen”’
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Worship together
Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.
4. Study and pray together
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:43-45 where, in essence, Jesus is teaching that the loving life we’re called to (as we saw last week from 6:27-42) is made possible by the work of the Spirit in us - it’s the fruit of the Spirit.
Please read Luke 6:43-45
On Sunday we saw that ‘a true Christian bears fruity by nature and on purpose’; Why is it natural and inevitable that a ‘good tree’ - analogous of a Christian - bears good fruit?
What is the good fruit that the Spirit yields in our lives?
What are the destructive things that one can ‘store in the heart’ and what will the result be?
On Sunday we saw that ‘a true Christian bears fruit by nature and on purpose’; What are the ways that we can ‘store good things in our hearts’ so as to bear more fruit?
SIV - How will the good fruit in our lives help those who are outside of faith to come to Jesus?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - Let's now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.
Does anyone want prayer out of what we have reflected on together or for anything else?