“EMPOWERMENT IS FRUITFULNESS”
Just as a physical training makes us physically fit, and so does one also need spiritual exercise to get spiritually healthy.
People need empowerment; people crave for delight in life. The Bible says in Psalms 1:1-3 “blessed are those who delight in the law of the Lord… And whatever he does prospers.” A metaphor in this verse is used to liken those people (the believers) who walk in the light of the Lord on a tree planted by the streams of water and yields its fruits. It is repeated in Jeremiah 17:8 showing the growth by its roots and bears fruits unfailingly.
Physically, we don’t want to be weak, more so we want to be spiritually strong. The real picture of a stronger tree is that it stands and is expected to bear fruits. The tree must prove its existence by having fruits; otherwise it will die a worthless death; therefore, the fruitfulness is required (John 15:16). Bearing fruits is paramount; fruitfulness is a proof of connectivity and it defines the sign of a good health and sound life.
Not all kinds of trees bear fruits; and not all bear sweet fruits; some are sour and some are bitter; some are unsatisfactory and of bad taste (Isaiah 5:4). Like a tree, not all believers bear fruits that are likeable; in Titus 3:3-5, it sometimes bears bad fruits. Fortunately by God’s grace, we in the house of the Lord, are well-taught by the true sent one of God, the Apostle (Luke 11:49). We become knowledgeable in the word of God and by acquiring the right knowledge based on truth taught by the true teachers of truth (1 Tim. 2:7) we acquire true empowerment.
In John 15:16, we are chosen to bear (good) fruits, and being fruitful is tantamount to being empowered. In particular, there are two basic kinds of fruits we are expected to bear: firstly, the fruit of repentance (Mat.3:8), the message of “metanaeo” (progressive change of mind for the better, e.g. Prodigal Son), that is the change of mind leading to the total change in direction of life towards Christ like life; and secondly, the fruit of light (Eph. 5:8-9), it comprised of goodness, righteousness and truth.
In the book of Titus Ch.3, we are all saved to do good (Titus Ch.3). Goodness and kindness are unequivocal characteristics of God (Psalms 119:68). And so are we being the children of God (1 John 3:1) are good and shall keep doing good. When we are good, we even try to become better. As such, we should manifest good works (1 Peter 2:12); we are living epistles (2Cor 3:2) to do good deeds; and we exhibit the inherent goodness of our Father in heaven(Eph 2:10). By doing so, it helps us keep going constantly, as it silenced in a way or another the ignorant talk of foolish men (1 Peter 2:15).
On the other hand, righteousness leads to redemption and salvation (1Cor.1:30). The ultimate goal of God is to make us righteous (1Pet 3:18). It is never unfair and dishonest. For example, the time and service we devout to God is observing the proper schedule and obligations unto the Lord. In Phil.1:11, be filled with righteousness. It actually means, however, being righteous without being self-righteous for it is only by God’s mercy thru faith that we become one. No one can boast that he or she is more righteous than the other for we only received this fruit by God’s grace (Eph. 2:8 & Titus 3:5).
Finally, the truth (John 17:17) – that is the bountiful knowledge of truth in the church and its sanctifying effect among members of the church. While the word (of truth) is being preached by the true sent ones of God, led by the Apostle (Luke 11:49), the true teachers of truth (1 Tim. 2:7) , it cleanses and leads many to repent. In John 8:32, it delivers from enslaving sins and sets people free from the captivity. It is the long-lasting fruit of being truthful before the eyes of God, and being true to oneself and to others.
Doing a good work, having a righteous life, and living by the truth will definitely make our life shine serving as a fruit of light. When the good seeds are planted properly (by the true sent ones of God), it will lead to the fruit of knowing right repentance and acknowledging the fruit of the light – that is exposing the wrong deeds of darkness and letting Christ to shine on many.
Certainly, having these fruits would mean one’s life spiritually sound and empowered.
*Above are based on the Message of Evangelist Leticia S. Ferriol during the 2013 Spiritual Empowerment of PMCC (4th Watch) Singapore held on May 30-31, 2013 at Worship Hall, Jalan Peminpin, Singapore.