Week 6- Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
The fruit of a congregation or the fruit of an individual disciple reveals the true nature and character of the church or individual. Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” What kind of fruit does our church produce? What kind of fruit is your witness and service producing?
Prayer: Gracious God, plant the seed of your Good News deep into my soul so I may produce good fruit – fruit that reflects your power and presence in Jesus’ name. Amen.
MONDAY- Matthew 13:1-9
Jesus told this story as a parable. It is an example to reveal an important point. How many different kinds of soil are there? What makes each of them distinct and different? What do the different types of soil represent? (You can read Jesus’ interpretation in Matthew 13:18-23) Which kind of soil do you choose to be?
TUESDAY – Matthew 7:13-23
What does fruit reveal?A lady once bragged about her new dwarf apricot tree … until she picked a juicy ripe plum from its branches.What did that fruit reveal about that tree?Jesus uses this insight in the middle of talking about false prophets.What kind of fruit would be bad fruit?How about good fruit?Jesus goes on to say many will claim to be his disciples, but what will be missing?What kind of fruit can you bear today?
WEDNESDAY – John 15:1-8 and 16-17
These are among Jesus’ last words to his disciples. Again, he affirms that they are to produce much fruit. But what else does he reveal? Who is the vine? Who are the branches? Who is the vineyard keeper that trims and prunes the branches? Why does the vineyard keeper trim and prune the branches? Can you think of a time when you faced tremendous challenge, but looking back grew great fruit?
THURSDAY- Ephesians 2:19-22
Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus is unique in that he does not seem to be addressing a laundry list of problems. His image here is not of fruit, but the construction of a building. Jesus is the cornerstone that marks where everything else should be positioned. The apostles and prophets – generations who have kept the faith while going before us – are the foundation. Who are we? What is our calling? Who is the One who calls us?
FRIDAY – Ephesians 4:11-16
The Holy Spirit has given each of us special talents to contribute to the body of Christ. What is the purpose of these gifts?
Verse 12 a
Verse 12 b
Verse 13 a
Verse 13 b
SATURDAY- 1 Peter 2:4-10
Peter, like Paul, uses the image of the construction of a building. Jesus is once again the cornerstone that aligns the rest of the stones into a wall. Peter says we are what?
How will you proclaim the praises of God today?