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Fruit in Every Good Work

Fruit in Every Good Work

Words of Faith 9-25-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 1

     [9] For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  [10] And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work,


     The prison prayer of Paul and Pastor Epaphras was rich and deep.  They prayed for the believers in Colosse to have knowledge of God's will that comes through wisdom and understanding.  But this knowledge was to result in several specific changes in the life of a believer.  They prayed for a life worthy of the Lord that is seen bearing fruit in every good work.

      We probably don't understand fruitfulness quite the way the people of the ancient world did in a largely agrarian society.  Folks back then were more familiar with planting and harvesting than many of us are today.  They understood that the measure of a plant, vine, field or crop was its fruit.  Paul saw this clearly as a parallel in our spiritual lives.  He and Epaphras prayed for fruitfulness in the life of believers-- that they might be pleasing to God bearing fruit in every good work.

     Now we have to be careful here!  Paul was not praying for the fruit of good works.  He wasn't praying for more good works.  He was not praying for us to seek a more and more busy life.  He was praying for fruit in every good work.  There is a difference! 

     We are often tempted to think that many good works will make a fruitful life.  This is not what this prayer says.  Paul probably assumed that there were plenty of good works in the lives of these believers.  The question was-- Are these good works fruitful?

      There are a couple of powerful truths here from a couple of angles.

      First, have you ever done something really good, but you did not see any fruit from it?  Perhaps you gave money to a person on the street only to see the money spent on alcohol or helped someone with a task that did not seem to make any difference in them at all. It is a rather empty experience to be sure. 

      In such a situation, we might say, "Perhaps a seed was planted…" or "God knows the intention was good.”  This is very true, but intentions can be wonderful and yet not be fruitful.  In fact, someone said there is a road someplace that is paved with good intentions. 

     Of course, we must not forget that there is fruit that we may never see.  Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase (1 Cor. 3:6).  That is why the leading of the Spirit is so very important.  How can we judge the value of a simple act of mercy, the sharing of a cup or water or even a smile that lifts the spirit of a discouraged person?  But this is all the more reason for this prayer-- to pray that the good works we enter into will bear fruit that lasts.

     But here is another angle!  Don't forget the fruit of the Spirit.  To bear fruit in every good work must surely mean that our good works are done in a manner that reflects the character of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit. 

     Have you ever observed someone doing a good work, but doing so in a manner that erased most of the value of that act?  Maybe it was a bad attitude or a self-righteous spirit or even a begrudging reluctance.  We may even think it would have been better not to have done anything at all. 

     The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).  These are the character qualities that reflect Jesus.  Well intended efforts at a soup kitchen, building for the homeless, or serving in the church are largely negated when they do not reflect the character of the Lord. 

      Paul knew that if good works reach a point that they reflect the attitude of the world rather than the kingdom, or reflect the pride of life more than the heart of Christ, they become nothing more than arrogant self-righteousness.  He had been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt.

      So how is your walk with God?  Are you learning more and more of the will of God through wisdom and understanding?  Is that knowledge of God being reflected in a life worthy of the Lord?  It is not just about being; it is also about doing.  It is not about doing more and more. We must discern the "God thing" from amid the many good things.  We must pray with Paul and Epaphras for good works that are fruitful.  But we must also express those works in a way that reveals the fruit of God's spirit.


     Father God, guide me into Your will with wisdom and understanding.  Cause my life to be worthy of You and to be pleasing to You in every way.  Make the good works You guide me into fruitful for Your Kingdom.  Give me the fruit of Your Spirit in all that I do.  In Jesus' Name.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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