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Spiritual Fruit

“…let us heed Jesus’ warning to the fig tree. When He finds a lush but fruitless tree, He curses it to wither away (Matthew 21:19) and continues searching for those of true worship who will bear fruit from their hearts. This stark message is also full of hope: He gives life to those who seek Him and He withdraws life from us only if we turn away, investing in our own thriving businesses and thus failing to bear Him fruit.” (Dynamis 8/7/2020)

“The word hell in the Bible comes from kolazo. It has two meanings: It can mean either pruning or else punishment. Usually we mean the latter definition. However, it is not God who punishes people; it is they themselves who choose not to utilize the spiritual gifts that are given to them when they are made Christians. The obvious conclusion in this glorious self-definition of our Lord Himself as the “True vine” is rather ominous. It seems not to offer much hope for the dead wood, but what does one do with something that has no life and produces no fruit? Worse, there is a sort of contradiction in our understanding of the afterlife. As for the dead branches, “they gather them up and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)

“As a young man, I once saw a wise neighbor severely prune a mature apple tree that bore sparse fruit. The next year, with far fewer branches newly exposed to sunlight, the tree produced an abundant harvest. In this same way, we too can produce spiritual fruitfulness from the pruning shears of our own affliction. From this perspective, the experience of pain is not perceived as meaningless punishment, but rather as an opportunity for growth. While we do not seek suffering in our life, we nonetheless accept it, together with all other things, as God’s saving opportunity to help us live so that hopefully as people get to know us, they will get to know Christ as well.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“Jesus told us that He is the vine and we are the branches. From this we understand that if we are to bear fruit, we must always stay connected to Him -- through worship, prayer and sacraments. We bear fruit by the Christian example we set in our daily lives.” (Father James W. Kordaris)

“What happens when we are injured by others, mocked for our beliefs, or bad things happen to us even when we had prayed so hard that they wouldn’t happen? ”...every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” So we should expect to be tested. We are being “pruned,” challenged, tested, put upon like faithful Job in the Bible. Christ calls us to “abide in Me. ” It means that we must go through the difficult times and come out even stronger in our faith. The one who abides stays put. He or she doesn’t whimper or consider it unfair to be tested. Yes, of course God is still filled with love; but He prepares us for heaven by placing obstacles on earth that will make us stronger.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)

“When you open your heart to others with gratitude, the path is prepared for a relationship with Jesus Christ...a grateful heart is fertile ground for the things of God." (Abbot Tryphon)

“Our hearts will be fertile ground if we center our lives in Christ…When our hearts are fertile soil -- we can openly and honestly receive blessings from our Lord. If we"root” ourselves in Him, then like a tree with deep roots, will be able to weather any storm…we know that Jesus will be with is with us and that we are being used as His instruments.” (Fr. Mark A. Leondis)

"No one can have a heart in one condition and produce fruit of an opposite condition. The condition of your heart will affect your actions, and your actions will reflect your heart." (Henry and Tom Blackaby)

“We are all sowing seeds. We can all be the good soil, and sow good seeds, and if we allow our seeds to be cultivated and watered then we can bear fruits of love that will lead not only ourselves, but others closer to God.” (Father George Gartelos)

“Life in Christ is never a bed of roses. He promised pruning. But if we respond to the Gardener’s tending as fruitful branches, yielding the sweet wine of virtue, we have the joy of knowing that He chose and appointed us to go and bear fruit—in good times, in bad times, and in eternity…The most fruitful and the most joy-filled Christians are the most pruned Christians." (Fr. Mark Sietsema, Bruce Wilkinson)

#AbbotTryphon #HenryandTomBlackaby #FatherGeorgeGartelos #FrMarkSietsema #BruceWilkinson #Dynamis #FrVladimirBerzonsky #RevAndrewDemotses #FatherJamesWKordaris

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