DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: How to have a fruitful community
Being part of a true community requires us to walk together in spirit and build on the foundation of God's word.
In last week's devotion, I encouraged people to engage in self-reflection and consider confessing their sin to another, expecting to pray for each other and be healed. Following through with this exercise requires being in close relationship with other followers of Christ, who will receive you and your confession, then respond appropriately by praying and eagerly exchanging roles.
The ability to walk in open, relational love with our brothers and sisters in Christ is a catalyst to real community. As the Body of Christ increases in righteousness, as we are being conformed to the image of His Son, we experience the transformative work of the Spirit and our lives produce the type of fruit found in the Tree of Life.
This good fruit draws people to each other and reveals some of the benefits of obeying the Lord.
In Luke 6:43-49 Jesus says: "A good tree can't produce bad fruit and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit.
“Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from your heart.
“So why do you keep calling me Lord, Lord! when you don't do what I say? I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.
“But anyone who hears and doesn't obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins."
Prayer: Father, I thank you for the church of this city and how you invite us to receive the life of your Son. May His life and nature be formed in us His people as we share His fruit with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
John Arras is the Park Rapids campus pastor at Abide Vineyard Church.