Greg Laurie on Fruits of the Spirit
"But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." (Matthew 13:23)
The concept of bearing fruit is used often in Scripture. In the Gospels, Jesus told the story of a sower who went out to sow seed. The seed fell on various types of ground. Some of the ground was rocky and hard. Other ground was receptive, but weeds choked out the seed. But there was a portion of ground that was not rocky or weedy, and the seed took root. Jesus said that this was a picture of the different people who hear the gospel. Those who are true believers are those who bring forth fruit (seeLuke 8:4-15).
What is bearing fruit? Essentially, it is becoming like Jesus. Spiritual fruit will show itself in our lives as a change in our character and outlook. As we spend time with Jesus and get to know Him better, His thoughts will become our thoughts. His purpose will become our purpose. We will become like Jesus.
The Bible gives an excellent description a life characterized by the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
Is that what others see in your life? If not, then either you don't know God or you are living outside of fellowship with Him. If that is the case, then a commitment or a recommitment to Him would be in order. God is not asking for a perfect life. But He is asking that these fruits be primary characteristics of a life that is lived for Him. (Greg Laurie)
Originally published as "What Spiritual Fruit Looks Like" (used by permission).
Daniel Gonzalez addition to how this looks like for everyday living.
How does this look like. It is situational, it is daily, and it is progression to Christ likeness. We all fall short in all areas, however it is listening to the Words of Scripture in guiding us , and recognizing growth. To make it simple , (The man I am today , I was not yesterday ) How does that look like for everyone is different, nut our measure is the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.22.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11)
Men often in times we lose focus of what our responsibility to God is. As we continue this journey on learning to be the men God wants us to be, we must remember to stay on guard against any attacks that come against us. We fall into temptation when we are 1) Alone, 2) Hungry and 3) Tired. This is when our flesh is weakest. It is at this time that we must remember to hold on to God’s word and input His words into our hearts. This will helps us remain strong at a time of weakness. In today’s age where family values and absolute truth have been challenged and abandoned we must learn to lean and meditate on His word. As we continue to study the characters of men in the Bible I’d like to discuss Noah. Noah was faithful even when others mocked him for living righteously. But what exactly were the results of Noah’s faithfulness? Notice today three blessings Noah received for being faithful.
1) Noah was spared. God’s grace is clearly seen in His warning of the Flood, His invitation to the ark, and His preservation of Noah’s family.
2) Noah was secured, because of his faithfulness
3) Noah was set apart. God used Noah to populate the earth once more. Because of Noah’s faithfulness, he was used to pass on the legacy of faith from his godly forefathers to those who came after him. What a blessing!
Noah’s Faithfulness to God was not un-noticed which leaves me to explain this truth. Put a high value on God and He will put a high value on you. Be faithful in the little things and He will trust you with more. Noah’s first task was not building the ark, it was building himself in faithfulness to God. (Genesis 7:1) Then God entrusted him with more.
Charles Spurgeon preached to thousands in London each Sunday, yet he started his ministry by passing out tracts and teaching a Sunday school class as a teenager. When he began to give short addresses to the Sunday school, God blessed his ministry of the Word. He was invited to preach in obscure places in the countryside, and he used every opportunity to honor the Lord. He was faithful in the small things, and God trusted him with the greater things. “I am perfectly sure,” he said,“that, if I had not been willing to preach to those small gatherings of people in obscure country places, I should never have had the privilege of preaching to thousands of men and women in large buildings all over the land."
Men this principle will only be attained by meditating in God’s Word regularly. Remember, be faithful in little things in order to be trusted in the bigger things, and it starts by inputting God’s word in your heart.
Evangelism: A Concise History. By John Mark Terry. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994. 210 p Reviewed by Daniel Gonzalez
The history of evangelism presents an in depth and concise history of the progression of evangelism from Christ until the present. This book is an excellent resource for any student of church history. There are many books circulated that discuss church history however not to many discuss the history of evangelism. John Mark Terry does the world a favor by putting this concise historical data together. The history of evangelism covers a wide range of evangelism methods. These methods are helpful when seeing from a paradigm of history. The history of evangelism does a wonderful job discussing the men that led these evangelistic revivals in their time and in their culture. The book demonstrates the power the Gospel has in all generations when the Holy Spirit stirs up men to proclaim the Gospel. John Mark Terry does a great job in making evangelism relevant to the 21st century as he compacts the history of evangelism.
The book was written in chronological order from the time of Jesus until the modern day. The first two chapters dealt with Jesus’ own practice of evangelism and the evangelistic work of the New Testament church. In the chapters, he discussed the characteristics of their evangelism and the strategies they used. The third and fourth chapters of the book covered the history of evangelism from the Second Century through the middle Ages. He noted the change in methods as people were forced by governments to convert to Christianity.
Chapters 5 and 6 described the work of evangelism before and during the Reformation. Chapter 5 unpacked information leading up to the Reformation, emphasizing the preaching of the Bible, ministry to common people, the importance of preaching over the sacraments, and the relatively new communication of Bible truth in the common language of the people. Chapter 6 covered the evangelism of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and the Anabaptists. He said that each of these emphasized biblical preaching in the language of the people, exalted the authority of the Bible, used the printing press, and seized the opportunities of their day.
Chapters 7 and 8 discussed the work of evangelism as it unfolded in Europe through the 18th Century. He described the pietism movement which reacted against the dead orthodoxy of the Lutheran Church in Germany in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 discussed the revivals that occurred in England during the 18th Century. The work of George Whitfield and John Wesley were covered.
Chapters 9 through 12 discussed the work of evangelism on the North American continent from the 18th Century forward. He began in Chapter 9 with a discussion of the Great Awakening which occurred in New England in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Chapter 10 covered evangelism as it occurred on the American Frontier, including the Second Great Awakening. Chapter 11 covered the work of Finney and Moody as revivals became a primary means of evangelism in the 19th Century. Chapter 12 continued in that vein, discussing the mass evangelism work of Billy Sunday and Billy Graham in the 20th Century.
Chapters 13 through 15 discussed different methods which were being used in the latter part of the 20th Century. Chapter 13 dealt with the different para-church organizations committed to evangelism which were oriented to youth and college students. Chapter 14 discussed the need to promote and train people for personal evangelism, which Terry said was the model in the New Testament church. Chapter 15 was a discussion of Media Evangelism which was more critical that complementary.
Overall a great addition to this book is that John Mark Terry displays the evangelist hearts in reaching the lost. His section on the men leading these evangelistic revivals are well noticed throughout. In doing so Terry implores a heart of evangelism to all believers as we are all called to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
In Evangelism: A Concise History, Terry accomplished his stated purpose of writing a longer, fuller treatment of the history of evangelism than that which is contained in many introductory works on evangelism. The students of this book can articulate the history of evangelism. Students can also rediscover methods that the Lord used in varies times to reach the lost. This book has been very helpful in that it has demonstrated there is no one way to evangelize. This books has also demonstrated many examples that lead any student to understand that without compromise someone can adapt their evangelistic method in order to reach the lost. John Mark Terry does a wonderful job illustrating this principle throughout history. These principles are very important because in the 21st century society has adapted a post modern approach to life. This will take humility on behalf of the church in order to try and reach the lost. In applying this book it is clearly that one has to adapt to the culture without compromise. A great example of this is the Apostle Paul’s account in Acts 17.
The preaching of the gospel was at the heart of the Great Awakenings. There can be evangelism without revival, but there is no true revival that does not result in evangelism. The reason for this is that revival results in both the reawakening of Christians who have grown cold and the awakening of dead soul.
Readers of the book will come to a greater knowledge about the work of evangelism throughout the history of the church. . This knowledge will help students appreciate the different ways in which evangelism was practiced in order to evaluate their own evangelistic efforts and those of the church today. It will also help students see the connection between events in church history and how each generation’s evangelism played a role in these events. The men who were at the heart of these revivals were eager to preach the gospel everywhere there was need. They were consumed with reaching the lost in their cities and regions.
The book was well written and organized into a logical flow. This is to be expected in a book on history. The concise nature of the book prevented the author from going into great detail, but he did maintain a good balance by discussing the work of individuals who were active in each period. The book gave the reader enough information to understand the general character of evangelism in each period without weighing him down with details. This book will serve students of ministry all around the world the focus is on the events that led up to the current situation in America today.
For the sake of offering a constructive feedback in approving the book. A section on application would of come much helpful for anyone looking to implement and evangelism ministry. Another observation is that the book’s North American focus. This limits its usefulness for a number of students both in America and abroad. The book does not discuss the efforts of evangelism in other parts of the world.
The continents of Asia, Africa, and South America are not discussed at all. Europe is not discussed beyond the 17th Century. Students who are interested in other parts of the world for the sake of missions or church history will need to seek other sources for this information. This is not uncommon in works of church history as a whole.
Overall, the book is to be recommended for beginning students of church history and evangelism. It covers the basic work of evangelism in the history of Christianity as it leads up to modern day America. However, other works will need to be consulted in order to complete the student’s education on the history of evangelism in the world as a whole.
This book is a wonderful resource for all churches to have. The book allows anyone interested in studying Revival to investigate this concise work. To have such a concise book on the 2000 years of evangelism is a blessing to the Church. This book comes highly recommend because it gets to the doctrine and heart of evangelism. The book discusses many methods one can implore. The book takes through different cultures as well as different men, and different times throughout our history. The premise of the book is maintained and carried out from beginning to end. John Mark Terry charges his audience to adapt and proclaim the Gospel to all nations and societies.