MCCC - Go Make Disciples
May 30, 2018 | Brian McGee
Our self-titled series on discipleship has hopefully been the beginnings of a work in progress for you. Discipleship, at its core, is an on-going process, designed to bring out in you the very qualities of Jesus. We call these qualities "the fruit of the Spirit" (see Galatians 5:22-23).
Fruit trees are an intricate plant. Once planted and established as an adult tree, it can take up to 3-8 years to bear a harvest of fruit. Their root systems can be in upwards to 3 times the size of the above-ground portion of the tree. They require a constant intake of sunlight, water, nutrients from the soil, and fresh air to thrive.
So what does this mean for us?
The discipleship process doesn't happen overnight. Just like a fruit tree, it takes time to grow new habits, disciplines, instincts, and behaviors. Have you ever stumbled upon a fruit tree in the wild? Sure, they exist, but they yield a fruit that is startlingly different from what you would find available in your local market. One bite into a sour crabapple will have you questioning the romantic nature of a wild fruit tree. There is an apparent reason as to why fruit trees thrive when planted in an orchard that can be cultivated and cared for by a specialist, and we, as disciples, are no different.
As a church, we care deeply about our people and want to provide for them proper environments for this growth to take place. Whether it is in a weekly sermon-based Small Group, a community service team, or a 1 with 3 discipleship group, our goal is to encourage the growth of deep roots.
As Didi outlined in his sermon from Sunday, we are to be rooted in the Great Commandment to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Only in doing so will we be fruitful in fulfilling the Great Commission to go and make disciples.
So what's the point? Grow deep roots, bear much fruit, then what? Are we to exist merely for the visual beauty of a well-adorned fruit tree? Are we to be like a Christmas tree decorated in all of our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Fruit, while visually beautiful, has a much more meaningful purpose, and that is to die.
We all know that fruit contains seeds. It is a high energy vessel, which when ripe, falls from the tree, eaten, or rots, dying to self and providing fertile soil for the indwelling seed to grow.
The fruit of us enduring the ongoing call towards discipleship is not something for us to consume, but to give away, to die to self, so that others may have that same, abundant life. You're not being asked to be the next Billy Graham, speaking in stadiums to millions. Choose one. Plant a few seeds and care for them with all that you have. A poet once wrote, "Anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed."
We hope that one day a stranger will tap you on the shoulder and thank you for loving the person who is