So here we are, finally in 2012! May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and fruitful year ahead! 2012 comes with its own share of controversies and predictions, calendars and philosophies that foretell the end of the world this year but I am glad I have Jesus, because a life lived with Jesus never ends as long as Jesus is alive. It is an endless story of grace and glory forever and ever.
As I prayed over the last weeks of 2011, asking the Lord for a word for this year, God spoke and said that this will be a year of abundant and unprecedented harvest, a year where we will see God move mightily among nations and governments. Yes, there will be times of trials, tribulations and bad news, but the church will reap a harvest like never witnessed before in its history! We’ve stepped into a year of revolution. Don’t we need to brace ourselves for that? Allow me to share a few principles of bearing fruit and reaping a bountiful harvest in the fields God has placed us in.
A – Abiding in the Vine
The primary principle to bear fruit is to remain attached to the Vine, the source of our life and our strength, Jesus himself. Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4). We cannot expect great results if we have compromised in our walk with God – in our times of prayer, in our relationship with Him. Abiding in Jesus is about living in His presence each moment of our life. May this be a year of greater attachment and dependency on our vine, the Lord Jesus Christ!
B – Broken to be multiplied
Brokenness is the key to manifoldness. “Then Jesus broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples” (Luke 9:16), and thus fed 5000 men with 5 loaves of bread! Jesus blessed and broke the loaves before he gave it to His disciples for distribution. It isn’t much of a surprise, then, to know God still deals with us the same way. For something we own or have to be used by God, it has to go into His hands and be broken so that it can be multiplied. So if you go through trouble in your finances, relationships or career, take courage and let God have his way. It’s just the breaking before the multiplication.
C – Cultivating the crop
This is something we often miss out on. Abiding in the Vine and allowing to be broken is important, but it is essential that we start to sow, because “what you sow is what you will reap” (Gal 6:7). Also, how much you sow is how much you reap! “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” (Psa 126:5) If today, we make a list of our possessions, time, money, our influence, our friends, and so on, and decide to sow into a good ground with tears, we can expect 30, 60 and 100 times harvest for the glory of God.
D – Dying to live
Jesus said “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).This is the toughest of all, where we, our ambitions, our desires (even the good ones) die. This is where we totally yield our life to God and let Him have complete control over our life, so that He begins to live through us. If it were not for the death of Jesus on the cross, all His time of praying, being broken by the circumstances and investing into people would have left behind 12 cowardly disciples. However, it was through His death that life spread. The same stands true today; there is a limit to what we can do things for God. But there are no limits to what God can do through a completely yielded vessel.
May I invite you at this moment to yield your life in complete surrender to the Master’s use? Complete surrender involves no conditions, no ifs or buts. It’s best expressed in Jesus’ prayer, “Not my will, but Thine be done!” (Luke 22:42) Let’s commit ourselves to a life of complete surrender to God, without questioning him when he breaks us, sowing into good grounds at every opportunity, to witness the mighty harvest promised by the Spirit of God before the end of this year! God bless you!