Matthew R. Perry

Taking Care Of What You Hear, Part II (Producing the Fruit)

In Sermons on January 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Go back to Luke 8:18: “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” Again, back to the Parable of the Soils. The seed of the Word of God has been planted in your hearts. The good soil which holds on, bears fruit with patience. Thirtyfold, sixtyfold, a hundredfold.

Now what? “Take care then how you here, for to the one who has, more will be given.” The fruit borne with patience (or perseverance) may take time, but we hold on knowing the full effect of the Word on our hearts. It’s by the Word of Truth, the gospel, that we are saved and maintained. We hear the Word so more seed may be planted, more fruit borne in the gospel, and the abundance helps us persevere and be nourished.

Christians who have the Word of God must put it into practice as that fruit is being borne and growing. John 15:8 says, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” If we seek to spread God’s glory from our neighbors to the nations, then we must bear fruit. How? John 15:8 says to bring glory to God. Meaning we should do nothing that is contrary to His nature, work, will, and plan.

I was reading an article about how some plant owners grow easily frustrated when their fruit trees fail to grow any fruit early on. Some then begin to give up on their growth, but this article brought in some important factors.

Size and age. Standard apple, peach, and apricot trees take 3-5 years to grow fruit. Why? They need time to mature and develop. So too with the young Christian. Psalm 1 says the righteous one is planted by streams, yielding great fruit and growth in Christ.

Sun Exposure: A tree in full to partial shade is fighting an uphill battle. Fruit trees can survive in partial shade, but they will take longer to begin bearing fruit. We do not want to get by on partial sunlight, but on the full light of the gospel of Christ and His glory. We just read from the Word that it’s a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. But the Son also feeds us the nutrients we need.

Soil Fertility: Fruit trees, like all plants, require some nutrients to survive. But excessively rich soil or heavy fertilization may encourage branch and leaf growth at the expense of fruit production. Did we not find out from Jesus that we need the proper soil to be ready to receive His word?

Pruning: All fruit trees benefit from annual pruning, if done in moderation. Pruning rejuvenates fruit trees and encourages the growth of fruiting spurs. Removing more than a third of the tree could have just the opposite effect you were going for and stimulate more branches, as the tree repairs itself, and no fruit. Lack of regular, moderate pruning is one of the most common causes of no fruit production. The Christian needs to prune as well. We need to prune away areas of sin of the pleasures, cares, and interests of the world so they don’t choke out the Word (Luke 8:14).

So not only does Jesus tell us to take care of how we hear, we need to take care of the Word that is heard, so that fruit may bear. Why? “…and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” What we must understand is that this is not simply talking about in this life, but also in reference to the Day of Judgment. You have the Word?  Persevere, then more will be given.  Reject the Word?  Then what you claim to have will be taken away.

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