|Posted on March 14, 2010 at 9:25 AM|
Been thinking about this word for the past several weeks since it came up in class at the start of semester. This semester I’ve been studying a subject called “Spiritual Formations for Cross-Cultural Ministry” which is basically looking at what you need to be and what you need to know when working as a cross-cultural worker.
One of the points that came out of the discussion that lecture about “spiritual vitality “was that being a cross-cultural worker involved more than just preparing to get there or survive but rather to be effective while there. It was suggested that being effective involved “bearing fruit” in one’s personal life and ministry (although sometimes there are seasons when one’s ministry will not bear fruit).
So what does it mean to “bear fruit”? Three passages of scripture come to mind and they all use the imagery of a tree/vine.
Psalm 1:2-3 (NIV)
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)
But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
John 15:5 (NIV)
I [Jesus] am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.
These passages suggest that to be fruitful in life and ministry involves “delighting/meditating” on God’s word, “trusting God” – taking Him at His word and “remaining” in Jesus – staying in close relationship with Him.
Please pray for us that our focus will not be just about preparing to get there, but preparing to be effective for God while there. Pray that we would be “delighting” and “meditating” more on God’s word daily, “trusting” Him even when things don’t make sense, and “remaining” in Christ always.