Invest Your Life for God’s Glory

by | Aug 26, 2014 | Woman

As a wife/mom/author/teacher who loves Jesus and wants to minister in His name, I often think about the phrase from John 15, “fruit that remains.”

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16, NASB).

I don’t want to waste my time with my family, students or readers, and I long for the investments that I make at home or with others to have long-term value.

Years ago, mostly before kids, I had the chance to speak at several retreats with 300-400 attendees. It was heady, and I was blessed in those ministry settings. Family responsibilities have kept me from accepting opportunities to speak at something that large the last two years, yet the opportunities I have had to sit and talk one-on-one have grown (certainly with my boys in my home, but also with women in our community).

As I evaluate this season of slow-and-steady opportunities to sow seeds at home or church, I think often of the tortoise and the hare. It is one of my favorite fables, probably because the truths it reflects are, first, scriptural and, second, very practical.

If you are a person who likes public ministry like me, think on Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare, and ask yourself what finish line is in your head. For me, I have what I believe is a genuine desire to help other women, especially younger women, in areas that I struggled. I remember sweetly the times older women invested in me. I remember the moments of teaching or conversation in which the light came on in my head as the Spirit applied the Scripture or wisdom they shared with me. I want to invest similarly in my home and church. And I want those investments to result in fruit that Satan cannot snatch away. That’s the finish line in my head when I think practically about the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

After 20 years or so in various forms of Christian ministry with some big opportunities and many more small ones, I can say with heartfelt conviction that the most influential parts of ministry for me are the quiet one-on-one conversations over time. This is not to minimize the big moments. We can likely all remember being seriously influenced by a public speaker or author. And yet I am firmly convinced it is the private conversations at my neighborhood hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian restaurant or the local playground that are my most serious investments in ministry.

Key to understanding these investments is remembering how the Bible uses the word fruit. What abiding fruit is Jesus talking about in John 15? Is He talking about numbers of people who profess faith in Him that then persevere in that faith? He’s not, I think, talking simply about the number of people who start attending church who persevere in faith long-term.

His words are best understood with Paul’s clarification on fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).

Paul’s description of the fruit of the Spirit that I just quoted is relevant because Jesus’ instructions on fruit that remains in John 15 is in the context of life after the Holy Spirit comes. Consider Jesus’ words in the previous chapter:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:15-18, ESV).

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:25-26)

Consider the progression of Jesus’ discussion with His disciples. In John 14, Jesus speaks of the Spirit. In chapter 15, He speaks of fruit that remains. Then, in John 16, He reinforces His words about the Holy Spirit:

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:7-8).

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

RECENT ARTICLES

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding...
God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

We spend a lot of life figuring out if we “measure up,” a phrase someone coined in the mid-1800s. Even in childhood, we begin comparing ourselves with siblings and kids at school, and it never seems to stop. The problem goes back to Cain and Abel, doesn’t it? Most of...

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

”Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Rom. 2:4). Looking retrospectively at my past as an atheist, I can see where God...

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why speak with tongues? There are many reasons for speaking in a spiritual language. Primarily, though, the Scriptures require it. The apostle Paul commanded us, saying, “Pray in the Spirit always” (Eph. 6:18). Jude commanded it in verse 20, saying, “Pray in the Holy...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]