I trust your year is off to a wonderful start and you are experiencing His increase in every area of your life. On the first day of 2020, as I was fellowshipping with the Lord, He said, “2019 was a year of pruning so that 2020 could be a year of much fruit. Remember the plum tree.”
When Phyllis and I were first married, we had a neighbor who planted a plum tree in his yard. Over time, it bore some really good fruit. Then one day I came home from work and saw that he had cut that tree back so far that it looked like nothing more than a stump. I was sure that he had killed it! However, when harvest time came, the tree exploded with growth, bearing an abundance of the most beautiful plums. I never imagined that extreme harvest would be the result of what I considered to be extreme pruning, which goes right along with what Jesus said in John 15.
John 15:2-3, 5 …every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth much fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you…I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Jesus was and always will be all about bearing fruit, and His desire is for you and me to bear MUCH fruit. One mindset that seems to creep into a person’s mind is that of reaching a certain age or season of life and being “done” so to speak. However, when you look at the lives of the men and women in the Bible and the “cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews 12, we are to continually increase in bearing fruit until the day we transition to heaven.
In the case of Abraham, our father in the faith, he was 75 years old when God first approached him. Then at age 86, he and Sarah took matters into their own hands and figured out how to fulfill God’s promise to them, which is when Ishmael was born. Finally, at age 99, after God changed his name from Abram to Abraham, the promise began its fulfillment in Isaac, and that promise is still being fulfilled TODAY.
Isn’t it amazing that at age 99, long after their natural fruit-bearing years, God’s Word came to pass for Abraham? God knew Abraham and Sarah couldn’t have children without His intervention. This perfect demonstration of the supernatural power of God should encourage our propensity to ALWAYS rely upon His ability and His anointing to bear fruit. There is no substitute for the anointing or the supernatural. When God’s Word comes, that which was dead comes alive!
We recently received an email from a pastor in Brazil who said that he was having a difficult time in ministry and was ready to quit. Somehow, he came upon our book, Bounce, that was translated into Portuguese a few years ago. After reading it, it revived him, giving him what he needed to pick back up and get to work doing what God told him to do. How did reading a book cause someone to pick back up and get busy for God? Because the Word of God he received from that book went to work in him, and the vision and calling that seemed to be dying came back to life.
In Deuteronomy 30:19, we find one of the simplest explanations for a life of bearing much fruit: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. Another translation reads like this, Today I’m giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster.
Who is making your choices? Far too often people let their choices be made for them by accepting the position they find themselves in. What if Abraham had let his and Sarah’s “deadness” make their choice for them? What if Peter had let his fishing career make his choice for him? What if the Shunamite woman had allowed the famine to make her choice by growing content while sojourning in the land of the Philistines?
All of these peoples’ lives have touched and helped billions of people because they CHOSE LIFE and BLESSING by believing the words God gave them. Nobody stumbles into life and success…it comes through choices, and this is true for you, too!
In this year when we’re to bear much fruit, make sure your choices are lining up with life and blessing. And always remember that your choices don’t affect just you; they affect the entire family of God, as well as your own family for generations to come!
Next month we will be ministering in Brazil for a couple of weeks. Please stand with us according to 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2, that the Word of the Lord would have free course, that His Word would be glorified, and that we will be delivered from any unreasonable and wicked men.
If you would like to sow a financial seed towards this trip, we would be so grateful. Below you will find a link where you can do so.