Tuesday, 04 December 2018 09:23

Rising Above Fruitlessness

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I started this week feeling fruitless. I needed to write this blog, prepare a sermon for Sunday, and prepare a sermon for a prison ministry. None of the tasks came easily. The little productivity I squeezed out flowed like molasses. You know those weeks. Sunday is coming, and the sermon is not there.

As I drove to work, I pondered the fruitless stages of my life and asked myself the question: What does it take to rise above fruitlessness? I offer the following points. I even alliterated, for you preacher types. I hope my ideas will help.

  1. Read! Reading does so many things. It keeps the mind sharp. It provides new ideas and fresh insights. It inspires. It challenges. Standing behind those positive benefits is the subtle work reading does in your subconscious. When you read you plant positive ideas that your subconscious can generate into ideas. Your subconscious is your greatest ally in remaining fruitful.
  2. Recognize! I have discovered several things I recognize in my spirit.
  • · To be fruitful I need to recognize the things I am passionate about. Every one of us has unique messages that God has placed in our heart. For instance, I am passionate about helping pastors.
  • · To be fruitful I need to recognize my unique gifting. I am gifted as a pastor, not an evangelist. Therefore, I am more prone to preach messages to the saints than the lost.
  1. Reflect! Reflecting is basically the same as meditating. I would differentiate a difference between meditating and reflecting. For me, meditating is when I focus on specific scriptures. When I reflect, I put my mind in neutral. Some of the most fruitful times for me occur when I am driving my car. In those times I am forced to think and reflect. This article was an outgrowth of driving to work this morning. I was reflecting on the fruitless week I was facing.
  2. Record! When you record your thoughts and ideas you will find that you record ideas you can use later. This takes the pressure off in those times when you feel fruitless. The things you record in your neutral moments are generally things you feel passionate about.
  3. Relax! When you tell yourself, “I have to prepare a sermon,” or “I have to write an article” you are pressuring yourself. All of us feel enough pressure without the self-imposed kind. The most productive ideas generally come when the Lord, using our subconscious, speaks thoughts into our hearts.
  4. 6. Reuse! We do ourselves a great dis-service if we do not reuse old sermons and old material and recycle them. A sermon you preached in the past will be better next time because your will have grown. Also, God will show you new ideas and give you new insights.

Feeling fruitless? Be encouraged, fresh days are ahead.

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