#MeditationMonday – Out of the abundance of a man’s heart, his mouth speaks.
Beloved, I give thanks to God for the breath of life in you this wonderful day! May the mercies of the Lord accompany you through every trial you encounter this week. Today’s #MeditationMonday verse is John 15:16.
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)
Brethren, there is a calling of fruitfulness on the life of every believer. The promise given to us afterwards is that if we do this, whatever we ask of the father in Jesus name will be granted to us. We are often so much focused on the promise that we forget its conditions, so that’s where our focus is today. Right from the start in Genesis, we are chosen and appointed by God to bear fruit, not just any kind of fruit but lasting and non-perishable fruit. This leads to our title today: babies don’t reproduce.
It quite clear that babies cannot be fruitful, however, they enjoy many benefits. Babies and children are carried, cuddled, given prompt attention, gifts etc. Even with these benefits it is not a good thing to remain a little child. It’s a real shame when a baby doesn’t grow up. We start to worry if a child is slow to learn because we expect that the little child will grow into a matured adult and will not remain a child forever.
In the same way, God expects us to grow into adults spiritually, He is not pleased if we remain immature for too long. People always say “don’t to rush the process, and each individual is different in their spiritual growth” true, but lack of development is the first sign of spiritual trouble. A person who refuses to grow can become a liability in the body of Christ and to his/her leaders because they will be difficult to teach and in their ignorance satan can harm them by causing them to do foolish things!
Concerning Him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
— Hebrews 5:11-14 (NASB)
Here, the writer of Hebrews wanted to dig deep into the teaching of Jesus as our mediator and high priest according to the order of Melchizedek, but he found those around him spiritually dull and sluggish when it came to deeper spiritual truths. Some ought to be teachers by now but they are infants still hanging on to the experiences and revelations of others for their own intimacy and relationship with God. It is clear why such people are a liability in the house of God, they are unable to discern between good and evil, and that’s very dangerous!
Paul wrote about this same problem in I Corinthians 3:1-3.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.
I Corinthians 3:1-3a (NASB)
John MacArthur in his commentary describes the analogy between milk and solid food in this way:
The difference is not in the kind of truth, but in the degree of depth. Spiritual immaturity makes one unable to receive the richest truths. Milk is like pre-digested truth, easy to swallow whole, but meat requires development of teeth and the action of chewing. There is more involved in the process of eating solid food.
If we remain babies, we will be unable to receive the deep spiritual truths of scripture and as a result, we will be unfruitful. This is the major problem with many christians who want to have a foot in church and a foot in the world. How can we bring others to Christ if we ourselves are not fully in Him? God is calling many of us who have given our lives to Christ, to walk down a path of solid food, a path of maturity, to leave fleshly things behind because they are hindering our ability to reproduce and holding us back from our calling of fruitfulness. John 15:2, shows us that God does not like unfruitfulness. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit (NASB). We risk getting cut off from the body of Christ if we are unfruitful because we become a liability in God’s sight.
Colossians 2 gives us a blueprint for growth in Christ:
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
— Colossians 2:6-8 (NASB)
Spiritual meat does not consist of provocative and questionable new ideas, but rather of becoming skilled in righteousness, by continually using one’s mind and God’s Spirit to discern between right and wrong.
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God
— Hebrews 6:1(NASB)
To be fruitful we must seek maturity i.e. actively pursue it. Once the foundation of basic doctrine is laid in our minds, we need to “go on to perfection” (KJV). This is the same goal that Jesus set when He told His disciples that their righteousness needed to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, and that they were to become perfect, just as their Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:20, 48).
Basic doctrinal explanation (milk) is needed for building a foundation of understanding but the instruction and encouragement to overcome spiritual weakness (meat) is necessary, because it stimulates essential spiritual growth and maturity in the individual. Without this growth, one can’t fulfil the verse we’re meditating on today. It is like asking a mango tree to bear fruit before it is mature, no matter how much you shake it, fruits aren’t going to fall out of the sky. A mature mango tree will bear fruit once it is deeply rooted in the earth and has absorbed enough nutrients from its surroundings, just as Colossians 2 says.
We are not told to wait doing nothing until we reach maturity, we are encouraged to eagerly seek it out by studying the word and praying. We develop our maturity through studying the word and ceaseless prayer.
“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
— Acts 6:4 (KJV)
This is the same blueprint Jesus followed. Jesus knew the word (law) like the back of His hand, and as we already know, He was always sneaking off to pray. Jesus grew in maturity by doing these things, from the age of twelve, He dazzled those in the temple with His knowledge of the law. Jesus was fruitful because he was mature. Yes, He was the son of God, but even He grew in maturity and obedience before He began His ministry.
Christians that feed upon the Strong Meat of the word, are more fit for the business of the Lord than the weak, who only live upon milk. The older we get, the more milk is unable to nourish us, we are stronger and better off with meat. It’s time to wean ourselves off the milk and start using our teeth to chew the meat. If we want to be fruitful, it is time to seek maturity, babies don’t reproduce.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for calling me unto a life of fruitfulness. I ask for grace to daily embrace your word, to study and meditate upon it, that I may mature spiritually, understanding the deep mysteries and truths of the gospel. Through this, may I become stronger and bear lasting fruit. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.