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Column: TWO MINUTE DRILL – No Fruit Produced

By: Rex Stump

Years ago, I sat around with a group of Christian leaders sharing stories and life lessons. One of the men stopped sharing and asked the question, “What book are you currently reading that is of encouragement to you?”

One by one, the group shared various authors and books. In my mind I was feverishly trying to remember all the intriguing titles and big-name authors.

But I stopped when a friend of mine said, “I really don’t read many books, I just try to spend as much time as possible in God’s Word.”

For some reason, of all the conversations, sermons, books, and words of motivation I’ve listened to… that one sentence has stuck with me.

As a Christian, and as a spiritual leader, the obvious truth that God’s Word is the source of all wisdom should propel me to make sure the Bible is opened and studied every day of my life.

I don’t need a testimony or a good story to remind me the power of God’s Word. I don’t need a famous person’s quote to inspire me to read God’s Word. God’s Word speaks for itself.

Story after story, verse after verse, we discover the truth we long for, the wisdom we seek, and the strength that we request comes from God’s Word.

Knowing all this, why don’t we spend more time in God’s Word? Just as an athlete studies the playbook to successfully compete, why don’t we study to win?

A short devotional cannot contain all the scriptures that point to the magnitude and power of God’s Word.

But, let me point to Matthew 13:1-23 (Mark 4 and Luke 8) for a quick reminder of the importance of hearing, understanding, clinging to, and living out God’s Word.

Jesus tells a story of seeds and soil to illustrate how people respond to God’s Word. Sometimes we don’t pay attention to God’s Word because our spiritual enemy distorts or snatches it away.

Other times, we hear it, but we don’t apply it, nor give it much attention. Maybe a problem arises, or persecution takes place, and we are distracted from it. So, it never takes root.

Sometimes God’s Word gets crowded out by the worries of life, the lure of wealth. The result of all these things and the lack of God’s Word in my life, “no fruit is produced.”

“No fruit is produced!” Athletes, business leaders, teachers, farmers, and coaches all want results! “No fruit produced” is phrase no one wants to hear.

For the Christian, who seeks to truly follow Jesus, the phrase “no fruit produced” should also cause frustration and disappointment.

That simple story, shared three times by Jesus in the Gospels, should remind us of the importance of having a heart ready to receive the message of God, and the importance of not allowing the things of the world to crowd out the message of God.

There are many great authors and pastors who speak for God but let me encourage you to go right to the true source, the Word of God.

As the Apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.”  (Romans 1:16). The power is in the message, not the messenger.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7.

Let’s firmly deepen our roots in the message, in the Word of God.

———————–

Rex Stump is the Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and serves as a Pastor at True North Church in Wauseon, Ohio.


 

The post Column: TWO MINUTE DRILL – No Fruit Produced first appeared on The Village Reporter.


Source: The Village Reporter

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