Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fruit vs Success

Only God Can Produce Fruit

The ambition of a son of God should be to bring glory to the Father, which is actually something that Christ does for him/her.  Jesus said:
When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples.  This brings great glory to my Father.  (John 15:8)
Being fruitful as a true follower of Christ brings glory to God.  Anyone one who has placed the statement of Jesus within the context of what Jesus revealed about the relationship of sons of God to His Father being like the relationship of a branch to fruit and the vine will know that followers of Christ are not really the producers of that fruit.  We are actually distributors.  The life of the Vine produces the fruit.

I wish I could remember who gave me the distinction between SUCCESS and FRUITFULNESS, but I've lost that memory.  I find it helpful in determining if the work I am doing is producing success or simply staying connected to the Vine to see Him produce fruitfulness.

Success comes from strength, control, respectability, and results in many rewards and often fame. Fruitfulness, on the other hand, comes from weakness, vulnerability, and the fruit is unique.  A successful person has the energy to create something, keep control over its development, and make it available in great quantities.  True joy is not success, but fruitfulness.

Pam and I want to see the Lord Jesus produce fruit ... fruit that will last ... through a sustained connection to the Vine and associates of the next generation in Uganda.  Our desire is to connect them to Jesus so that He can erase mindsets that keep them undeveloped and out of reach of their destiny.  We want to assist each one as we encourage, equip, and empower.

Abdu with Rose & Sera delivering a dairy cow
One of the first mistakes we made after creating some structure to our ministry years ago was to name certain individuals from Uganda as "Team Members" of Next Generation Ministries.  You can see that mistake along with the rest of the world on our web page here.  We hope to correct this mistake and revise our webpage while working from the States the rest of this year.  We have only five couples listed there as our team members, but since then the Lord has brought many more people to us and given us significant relationships with them.  Titles, while being descriptive, can also produce unseen lines that include only those with the titles and exclude others with whom we work.

Abigail Syd
Against this backdrop we would love for you to take a newspaper look at one of our associates.  Many of you know of Abdu Wasswa and some of you have met him personally either in Uganda or here in the States.  Over the past several years, Abdu has been living the reality of being a son of God.  He had deliberately resisted the orphan spirit so common in the African culture and is committed to erasing the reputation of the forefathers of his nation; common characteristics such as polygamy, witchcraft and corruption.  God has blessed him with opportunities to express his love for farming with agricultural emphasis on egg and diary farming.  His reputation became known to a journalist at the New Vision, one of the leading newspapers of Uganda.  Abdu is developing in the way he desires.  I'm so happy for him as God gives him favor in business and allows him opportunities to display the glory of Jesus in that venue.  (BTW ... the Lord gave Abdu and his wife, Betty, a new baby girl yesterday!  Isn't she beautiful?)

Read about Abdu's progress by clicking on this sentence.

So ... what do you think?  Success ... or ... fruitfulness?  Both time and eternity will tell.

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