Pastor’s Pen 22nd September 2019

Shalom. May your life be rich in relational wealth and prosperous in deeper discipleship.
We’ve been called to bear fruit for Christ, not be religious nuts.
Good fruit grows when the tree is healthy and things are in balance, it grows as a result of the tree being a tree and it bears fruit in accordance with the type of tree it is. So what the tree does is bear fruit by being a tree. The being must always precede the doing. In our Christian journey, we are each encouraged to bear fruit by remaining in Christ (John 15:5).
Therefore if we aren’t bearing fruit – which is shown in our character (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) and also in our relationships (impacting and influencing people to consider and decide for, or against, Christ), then the question begs to be asked – Are we really living a Christian life?
NONE of us can give excuses about not bearing fruit – we MUST!
The only way we can is by cultivating our relationship with Jesus – being a disciple.
Luke 9:23 “If any would come after me, they must deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow me”
Another way of considering this fruit is to ask what are our values. A very important and often ignored aspect of life, values define the moral structure upon which our life is lived, it is the filter through which our behaviour is affected. There are differing levels of importance in our values; the most important are core values. They are the non-negotiable things in your life that you will not compromise – when Christ enters our life that is supposed to cause a profound and definite shift in these core values. The life and ministry of Jesus abounds with value statements and show us the filter, or core values that Jesus lived his life through. Eg.
“I have come to do the will of the one who sent me”
“The first shall be last and the last shall be first”
“Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me”
“Love one another as I have loved you”
The gospels are full of them. The sad truth for many people is they don’t know how; in a cognitive way; to define and express their values and as a result go with the flow of society which is increasingly self-centred
and isolationist. At it’s base it could be summed up by “The pursuit of my personal happiness at the expense of everything else”.
There’s a saying – “If you don’t stand for something; you’ll fall for anything.”

It’s good to stop and also ask yourself what your core values are…
Are they working out in your life? Where’s the fruit?

Bless ya
Pastor Mike