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Dear COA Family,

When you come to a mango tree, what do you look for? You would naturally see if there are mangoes. Better still, they are golden which means they are ripe for harvesting and eating!

Similarly, our Lord looks for fruit as he sees our lives.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)

Fruit in the Scriptures refers to two things:
1. Godly characteristics manifested in our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
(Galatians 5:22-23)
2. Evangelism and discipleship of others so that they too grow in maturity in Christ.
(Romans 1:13)

Yet our God does not just demand fruitfulness from us but helps us in our weakness.

John 15:1-2 says: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He raises every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

Nearly all translations of the bible from the original Greek to our English language would write that the Father “cuts off” or “removes” every branch that bears no fruit. But the original Greek word airei has a double meaning: it can mean either “I raise, lift up” or “I take away, remove”. Most translations took the latter meaning. This can lead to a great difference of our perception of God’s working with us.

If we have the view that God will cut off every branch that does not bear fruit, we may live our Christian lives in anxiety, making sure that we bear fruit so that we will avoid the negative consequence.

However, if we know that our Father helps us to bear fruit by raising and pruning us, then we can live our lives in full trust in His leading our lives.

Let us therefore read the Scriptures rightly so that we may live in full assurance and comfort of God’s ever wise and loving care of our lives each day.

Have a blessed week bearing fruit for Christ!

Revd Ian