Maximum Fruit

When we find ourselves in a world that is uncertain and unsettled and the quest for inner peace seems a daily challenge, we can practice a simple exercise to keep our mind and heart in sync with the 'Prince of Peace'. Using 'maxims' as reminders of the truth is one helpful tool.

Webster says, "A 'maxim' is a term that stresses the succinct formulation of a fundamental principle, general truth, or rule of conduct. Always short, maybe pithy."

A maxim can be useful for relaying concepts, making them easy to remember for ourselves, as well as for sharing with another person. Here are a few of my current favorite maxims that help me walk with Jesus. Let's unpack them together.

Maxim #1
"To be born again you must believe in Jesus, but to have an effective ministry you must believe like Jesus."
This is a reminder that our Kingdom journey begins with believing that Jesus paid the price for a new life in Him; but the continuing journey of growing & becoming more like Jesus requires a renewing of the way we think, i.e., to believe & think like Him. For instance, what does Jesus believe or how does He think about financial provision, health, neighbors, the world situation?

Maxim #2
"Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith."
 Hebrews 12:2, "Looking to Jesus the author and finisher [or perfecter) of our faith".
Good news! You and I didn't come up with faith to begin this journey! It was a gracious gift offered to us and our only part was to respond, "Yes, Lord, thank you"
Jesus began our faith and continues to develop it as we cooperate with Him. We are not responsible to struggle to generate faith. We only need to "look" to Him and yield to His work in us, and we will find that more and more we believe like Jesus. (Then comes the responsibility to steward the increase He gives us and put it to work, but that's another topic for later!)

Maxim #3
 "We are to bear fruit, not do fruit"
This maxim reminds us that the "fruit of the Spirit" found in Gal. 5:22,23 (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.) is His work to do, not ours.

Yes, as Christ followers we are to become more and more like Jesus. It is easy to fixate on trying to do patience or do self-control but trying harder is unproductive and exhausting! We can't produce fruit! It isn't our job! It is Holy Spirit's. Our role is to host Holy Spirit in and upon us, then carry and put on display His fruit.
Jn 15:4, "Abide (remain) in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides (remains) in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me". Our 'job' is to abide in Him.

You might be asking, 'What is hindering Holy Spirit producing more of His fruit in my life?'
Good question to ask Him!  

I propose that the lack of peace is an indicator that we are believing something different than Jesus is believing. It's back to maxim #1, believe like Jesus.
To have increasing fruit requires what scripture calls "mind renewal" (Rom 12:2). The outcome of mind renewal is effortless transformation, allowing for more fruit on display through our life.

What does mind renewal look like?
Here is one exercise:
In any area of your life where there is less fruit of the Spirit than you would like to see, first identify what you are actually thinking/believing, For example: 'civilization is coming to an end, we are doomed', 'my situation is hopeless' …
Tell Jesus what currently feels true for you (feelings are most often different than our rational thoughts!) about your situation, e.g., 'Jesus it feels true for my heart that I am all alone and unsafe!'
Then ask Him, "What do You believe about this? How do You view this situation? What is Your truth for me right now?

You were designed to know His voice so trust that you will receive life-giving insight! After receiving from Him you may be surprised by Holy Spirit fruit!

Bonus question if fear or lack of peace is your issue:
    4.  Jesus, You've seen the news… Is this not an appropriate time to be afraid?' Enjoy His perspective!

Neil Harmsworth.   (Noble Ministries)

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