Devotion 55

What is our Fruit?

Look! Relying on Egypt is like using a broken stick as a staff — when you lean on it, it punctures your hand. That’s what Pharaoh king of Egypt is like for anyone who puts his trust in him.” (Isaiah 36:6)

Often, throughout Scripture, Egypt is used as a metaphor for a sinful nation and the default nation of those who engage in willful sin, even after being sanctified.  Why would someone deliberately engage in a life counter to the one they once eschewed as the moral high-ground?

This is really a difficult question to answer. Let’s begin with some of the basics. First, sanctification is not an event, it is a process – a life-long process. In becoming sanctified, we must rely on the guidance and leadership of our Most High Elohim, through the blood of our Pesach Lamb, by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Even those whom we believe have achieved sanctification, admit to falling into the grasp of sin, from time-to-time. Take Rav Sha’ul, the Apostle Paul, for example. Listen to his plaintive confession, recorded in Romans 7: I can want what is good, but I can’t do it!  For I don’t do the good I want; instead, the evil that I don’t want is what I do! Thus, the Apostle Paul, like all believers, was in a constant battle of resisting the very natural pull of our human natures to satisfy our human desires, regardless the cost.

There are consequences of giving into our natural desires, some of which may produce tragic results. Unfortunately, many have declared the doctrine, once saved, always saved, to be sacrosanct. This produces license to engage in sinful behaviour as believers.  What does Scripture tell us about the security of our salvation? There are two words from our Blessed Messiah, which give us direction. The first, from Matthew 7 we are told, “On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!” Here Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, is speaking directly to those to those who follow their own desires, rather than the will of Yahweh. Notice how the rejected justify their actions by claiming what they did was for Him? However, Yahweh does not look only at actions; more importantly, He looks to the intentions of our hearts. Even though these claim to be doing His work, their motivations may not be pure. Thus, knowing the motivations of their human desires, Adonai Yeshua condemns them with, Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness. How many of us are fooled by those who are generous, giving of their money, their time, their efforts, for their own selfish desires, rather than following the will of Yahweh?

Then, in John 15, we are told by Adonai Yeshua, “I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch which is part of me but fails to bear fruit, he cuts off; and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, so that it may bear more fruit. Right now, because of the word which I have spoken to you, you are pruned. Stay united with me, as I will with you — for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.” Let’s unpack this pronouncement carefully. Verse 2 tells us believers who do not produce fruit, that is do not display to others the light of Adonai Yeshua through our words and deeds. This does not mean our ‘doing’, since this only brings about frustration and doubt, as we begin to realize we can never do enough. No, bearing fruit is not about giving; it is about being – abiding with Yahweh, listening to His will for our lives and following what He reveals to us. Yes, our fruit is found in our characters not in our behaviours.

Then, we are told, any believer who consistently fails to allow his character to be changed, transformed, etc., will be cut-off. Did you read that carefully, if we do not produce fruit, our salvation is lost – we give it away by not being in Him.

And, so as to affirm the transformation of our hearts and minds, He assures us we will face different trials, during our life-journey towards complete sanctification, leading to our producing even more fruit.

Beloved, each day proclaim our Beloved Yahweh, Adonai Yeshua, as our Eternal Father; begin each day as if it is your first and last, celebrating the deep love relationship with the Ruler of the Universe and the Lover of our Souls. Listen to His words, carefully: Stay united with me, as I will with you — for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.

CONSIDER: Do you believe the fruit of your salvation is to be found in ‘doing’? Have you been taught that by going to church, reading your Bible daily, frequent prayer, being generous to others, memorizing Scripture and sharing the Gospel with others, you are assuring your salvation? While each of these actions are valuable, in and of themselves, they are not the fruit of our salvation. Focusing on ‘doing’ is exactly why Adonai Yeshua challenged the Pharisees and Sadducees for their prideful adherence to the Oral Torah and tradition, which violated the Word of Yahweh.

ACTION: I urge you to recognize true fruit of Salvation, that being the refinement of character, both head and heart, allowing the light of Adonai Yeshua to shine forth, and the deep, love relationship we have with Yahweh/Adonai Yeshua.

PRAY: Beloved Abba, our Heavenly Father. Thank you for calling me Your child and bringing me into Your Kingdom. Help me each day, I pray, to focus on my relationship with You. Refine my character, bringing it closer to the Ideal, Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus.  In Your Precious Name, I pray.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.