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Here’s How to Take Inventory of The Fruit of Your Life

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Here we are stuck in our homes. What a great time to stop and take inventory. Those of us who call ourselves Christians ought especially to take inventory of our fruit. I’m looking out my window at a couple of peach trees. Every year they produce bad fruit – worm-eaten peaches. This year, I de…
By Seth Barnes

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Here we are stuck in our homes. What a great time to stop and take inventory. Those of us who call ourselves Christians ought especially to take inventory of our fruit.

I’m looking out my window at a couple of peach trees. Every year they produce bad fruit – worm-eaten peaches. This year, I decided “I want better fruit. I am going to do a better job of caring for them.”

When it comes to bearing fruit, let’s face it, a lot of us are Christians in name only. The world views us as hypocrites. The world needs Christians to do better. And we can if we’ll take stock and make a few changes.

Maybe it would be a good idea to take at our at our lives and self-reflect. Jesus called his disciples to make disciples. What is your fruit? Who are your disciples?

Paul’s example

Paul is a good example for us. After Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus, he had to take the time to grow into a new identity, learning what it meant to be a child of God – a son – before he could prove himself reliable.

Eventually, as a reliable man, he was able to lead people into faith and become a fruit-bearing man, pouring into others like Timothy, who in turn poured into reliable people. We see this 4-stage fruit-bearing cycle in 2 Timothy 2:2: “The things which you (Timothy) have heard from me (Paul) in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to reliable men who will be able to teach others also.”

Many young people want to skip this step of proving themselves relaible. If you ask their supervisor, “Is this person reliable? Does he do the work assigned him on time?” Too often, you’ll hear the supervisor say, “No, he doesn’t; he’s not reliable.” 
 
Disciples are reliable
 
You can’t disciple anyone unless they can count on you to do what you promise to do. 
 
A discipler sees the future in her mind’s eye and then makes a promise about it to those she would lead. Something like Jesus’ promise, “Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” Jesus made the promise “I will make you.” 
 
If you read the book of 2 Timothy, you’ll see in the final chapter of that book that Paul’s co-workers generally fall into two camps: those who are reliable and those who aren’t. Reliability engenders trust. If I trust you, you have the most important thing you need to lead me.
 
The unreliable people Paul lists included Demas, who Paul says, “deserted me” and  Alexander the metalworker who “did me a great deal of harm.” 
 
The reliable ones included Luke, Mark, and Tychicus. They worked alongside Paul. Paul had a lot of stuff he was leading – he was planting churches, writing much of the New Testament, and making disciples everywhere he went. He needed to make some leaders if the work was to continue!
 
Homework
 
Stop for a second. Get out your journal or a piece of paper. Who have you poured into? Have you gotten them to the place of reliability, where they are making disciples of others? When we as a church get back to that, maybe instead of calling us hypocrites, the world might say, “Look how they love one another.”
  

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