Now our brothers and sisters in Zion are proclaiming the good news of the heavenly kingdom with a burning enthusiasm to save souls; wherever the gospel is preached, good fruits are produced.
If we want to bear spiritual fruit, we are to do God’s will above all else.
God has taught us, who desire to bear more fruit and pray earnestly for it, that we can produce more abundant fruit when our nature is changed so that we will become worthy in God’s eyes. Remembering this, let’s find out more about the secret of bearing much good fruit.
Through the parable of the vine, Jesus taught us the secret of bearing fruit; He told us that we could bear much fruit by remaining in God.
“… 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. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing … This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”Jn 15:1-8
Bearing much fruit is a beautiful thing in God’s eyes. God is glorified when we bear much fruit just as Jesus said.
We must make efforts to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth so that we can bear fruit. The gospel is perfect; it has the power to save all people in the world. However, if we, ministers of the gospel, do not resemble Christ in our nature but still remain worldly, people will not graciously respond to the gospel which we preach to them.
Let’s think about how to make people feel gracious about our preaching.
Although there is the best spring water, if it is in a dirty container, even a very thirsty man will not feel like drinking it. The gospel is of the finest value and quality. If we are not living a life worthy of the gospel, how will its hearers value it?
Now, we should prepare ourselves as the branches that can bear much beautiful fruit in God’s eyes. Let’s think about patience, one of the qualities we are to have.
Jesus showed several types of faith through the parable of the sower, and taught that we could bear fruit with patience.
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God … But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”Lk 8:11-15
The seed along the path or on the rock or among thorns cannot bear fruit. But the seed on good soil produces a crop; it stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear God’s word and keep it, and bear fruit with patience. Without perseverance, we cannot be like good soil to bear fruit—thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.
“… By standing firm you will gain life.”Lk 21:10-19
… You need to persevere so that you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.Heb 10:32-36
Good fruits can be brought forth by patience. After sowing a seed, a farmer must patiently wait until it brings forth fruit. Without persevering, he can obtain no fruit.
Just as the farmer has to wait for the seed to sprout, blossom and bear fruit, so we must be patient.
God has promised us eternal life (1 Jn 2:25). To receive the fulfillment of this promise, we need endurance. As God’s children, we are to bear beautiful fruit with patience, so that God may be glorified and we may participate in eternal life.
Patience has many facets. Particularly, controlling anger results in the beautiful fruit of the Spirit—love and peace. We are to practice patience and live in peace, putting away all anger, both at home and in the church. The more we become patient, the more fruit we will bear.
A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated.Pr 14:17
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.Pr 14:29
Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.Pr 16:32
The book of Proverbs repeatedly tells us that a quick-tempered man acts foolishly. He who is soon angry does foolish things, and after that he feels self-reproach and regret. We can give more glory to God when we have patience and self-control over our anger.
God is slow to anger. He is the vine, and we are the branches. If we are quick to anger, how can we say that we are His branches? Jesus said that we bear much fruit as we abide in Him. So if we want to bear fruit, we have to participate in God’s nature by controlling our anger.
Even if we face a situation when we are angry and hardly able to endure, let’s try to calm ourselves down by counting to ten. We can’t avoid situations that enrage us, but we can endure and overcome them. A patient man has great understanding.
God wants His children to participate in His divine nature (2 Pe 1:4). He warns us that if we do not participate in the divine nature, indulging our worldly and sinful nature, we will never enter the kingdom of God.
“… But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”(‘Raca’ is a Hebrew word which means empty or ignorant.)Mt 5:21-22
Jesus says that anyone who is angry with his brother or insults him will go into the fire of hell. God gave us this warning lest we lose our salvation.
He refines our hearts to make our salvation complete; we should understand God’s will and obey Him.
Now is the time to participate in the divine nature, loving one another.
The kingdom of heaven does not belong to those who still have a human nature—an impatient and hot-tempered nature.
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.Pr 22:24-25
A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.Pr 19:19
God told us not to keep company with a hot-tempered person. Though we get him out of difficult situations, he becomes angered again and takes offense repeatedly. If a man gets angry, he acts foolishly, losing his temper and control of himself.
Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was barely able to avoid committing foolishness by accepting the advice of his servants.
… So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry … So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.2 Ki 5:1-14
When Naaman came to Israel seeking a cure for his leprosy, Elisha didn’t come out to meet him but simply sent him a message. Then he turned and went away in a rage. He became angry and lost his temper at the slightest provocation. Fortunately his servants used a wise choice of words to persuade him to obey God’s instruction, and he was cured of his leprosy.
Anger causes us to lose our sense of reason. So God emphasizes that a foolish man is quick to become angry. From now on, let us not commit folly by getting easily angry. God said, “Love your neighbor,” “Love your brother as yourself.” Remembering these words always, let’s remove the foolishness of anger with love. King Saul is an example of foolishness by anger.
… When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. As they danced, they sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “But me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul… .1 Sa 18:5-10
Saul was displeased and angry because the people praised David more than himself. He became jealous of David and the Spirit of God departed from him and an evil spirit came upon him.
Finally Saul fell from God’s favor and died a miserable death. The Bible says that God was grieved that He had made Saul king (1 Sa 15:45). Anger was the cause of all his misery.
Love is patient and kind. It does not envy but rejoices with the truth. We are to rejoice with our brothers and sisters, sincerely wishing them well. If any of our brothers and sisters does well, our Father and Mother are glorified, aren’t They?
God’s children are to have not only good faith but also a good personality.
Just as our Mother has taught us, let us have a mind like a broad sea so that we can cover up the faults of our brothers and sisters.
This is what the LORD says: “For three sins of Edom, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because he pursued his brother with a sword, stifling all compassion, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked,”Am 1:11
God is not pleased with those who are easily angered. He will bring His wrath and punishment upon them.
Let’s remove all worldly impurities from our hearts. Some even delight in the misfortune of others as an opportunity for their own profit. However, we must not do that. We are all one in Christ. We, members of the heavenly family, are taught to love one another, not to get angry with one another.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.Jas 1:19-20
As stated above, man’s anger does not achieve the righteousness of God.
Love is not easily angered (1 Co 13:5). In accordance with our Heavenly Father and Mother’s teaching, with our hope laid up in heaven, let us all participate in the divine nature so that we may become beautiful children of God, making every effort to add to our faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love (2 Pe 1:4-8).
Recently a scientific research examined the physical changes in 12 couples falling deeply in love with each other. According to its report, testosterone levels rapidly decreased in men, while they increased in women. The research team explained this physical phenomenon as a process of resembling each other. When we love one another, we experience changes in our bodies to resemble one another.
Love is tolerant toward others; it endures trying circumstances and maintains an even temper. We must not be angered even when we are rejected. If we insist on our own way, anger and variance arise. However, if we put ourselves in control and accept others’ ideas, a consensus forms and consequently we can obey God’s command: “Love one another.”
We are all brothers and sisters whom our Heavenly Father and Mother have saved by sacrificing Themselves. If a brother does not know how to do something, let’s teach him and help him to do well. And if he is better than us, let’s compliment and encourage him. By doing that, we all shall resemble God to become without blemish or defect.
Anger takes us further away from God, so an evil spirit enters into us.
When we overcome anger, we can abide in God and bear much fruit pleasing to God. Dear brothers and sisters in Zion! Let us all bear much beautiful fruit with endurance and love.