Friday, 4 April 2014

Are you producing the fruit of the Kingdom?

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." John 15:4

Our fruitfulness depends on the realm we choose to dwell in.

When I started to play the bassoon I began to take part in an annual orchestra course for young people. Everyone auditioned and based upon one's abilities, one was put into one of the orchestras - A-,B-, or C- orchestra. The C-orchestra was for beginners, the B-orchestra for intermediate players and the A-orchestra was for the best players. When I was placed in the C-orchestra I was happy to be part of a bunch of enthusiastic players my age but I quickly realised that there was a long way to go to get to the A-orchestra. I stood in awe of how the bassoonists from the A-orchestra could play. For me it was a different realm. The remarkable thing however was that when I had the privilege of spending time playing with the bassoonists from the A-orchestra and being around them, I made significant progress in a very short space of time. Somehow being in the A-orchestra realm produced something in me beyond my normal abilities!

The C-orchestra is like the natural realm whilst the A-orchestra is like the Kingdom of God - Jesus' realm. If I had stayed in the C-orchestra all my life and had never been aware of the A-orchestra, I would never have made it to the A-orchestra. I would have assumed that my standard of playing was enough since everyone around me had the same standard of playing as I did. However, the moment I came in touch with a different standard of playing, my expectations changed. I now had the evidence of what I hoped to one day achieve. Although my father was a professional bassoonist at the time, his example did not inspire me as much as the example of the young people who were just a few years older than I was - it became more tangible and in my mind, achievable. Dad was out there, one day I can play like that. These A-orchestra guys were nearer.

Sometimes, when we look at the life of Jesus and the miracles, signs and wonders he did, we can also think He is out there, one day I will be able to do that...perhaps. However, when we look at the lives of the men and women of God in the Bible or in our contemporary world, the Kingdom of God seems nearer! Jesus' realm becomes tangible and achievable. We have a "great cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1) as well as the "author and perfecter of our faith" to encourage us to dwell in the realm of the Kingdom so as to produce the fruit of God's Kingdom.

When Jesus becomes our reality, we can expect to see miracles, signs and wonders. We produce the fruit of the realm we dwell in!

I want to encourage you to hang out with the guys from the A-orchestra - those who dwell in the realm of the Kingdom and produce its fruit. Read testimonies and begin to expect the same fruit in your own life as you meditate on the possibilities of God. Don't stay in the C-orchestra. The Kingdom of God is near. It is tangible. It is achievable. Hallelujah!

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