- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2002

The following are excerpts from a sermon preached yesterday by the Rev. Restine T. Jackson III at Word of Grace Church in Capitol Heights.

We have talked in previous weeks about laying a foundation for becoming fruitful sons of God. There is more to our lives as Christians than just being church attendees. It's not enough for you just to go to church and then to go home and continue your old miserable life. Life is not supposed to be miserable. We are supposed to be full of joy. Jesus Christ, in John 10:10, said, "I have come so that you can have life." So our lives as Christians are supposed to be lives of an abundance of good things, not an abundance of sickness or misery.
We for too long have concentrated on the negative things in our lives, and God wants us to turn that around. Instead of looking at what's wrong, I want you to start to look at what's right. As long as you have God in your life, the good in God overrides all other negativity that surrounds you. The God that we know is greater than any problem we face. He is able to step in the midst of what's wrong and make it right. He is able to step in right when your heart is breaking, and in the middle of the break and repair the breach.
He is able to do it, but many times He doesn't do it. The reason is because you don't believe He can do it. When you don't believe that He can do it, you don't ask Him to do it. If you don't ask Him to do it, He won't do it. Our job is to be impregnated with enough of His word so that when things go wrong, we are able to turn to God.
God desires for us more than we have been able to accomplish. He desires great abundance in our lives. So we must begin to strive for greatness. None of us needs to be satisfied with mediocrity. You were born to be somebody, and God placed on you a purpose that you are supposed to be accomplishing. That accomplishment is supposed to be the fruit of your life.
You can make a difference, wherever you are. You don't have to be afraid to go anywhere because you are the son of God. Our God has your back. God wants you to know that your life is not just about a struggle. Your life is supposed to be a positive manifestation of the purpose God has placed on all our lives.
Now God is saying to us to bring forth fruit. You, who are sons of God, must begin to make your life not about how much money you can get, but about how much fruit you can bring forth because these passages of the Scriptures that I've read to you show us a very meaningful progression. It starts with one who is barren. It speaks of some branch on a vine that brings forth no fruit and becoming one that brings much fruit. That's what God wants for us.
What God is saying is He is looking for consistency. He is looking for stability. God requires that every one of us makes our daily lives a pursuit of our purpose so that today we're not resting on what we did yesterday, but that today we're about what God desires for us to do today.
Many of us are fruitless because of sin in our lives. But God is so concerned about us that He will do whatever it takes to get rid of the thing that causes us to be barren. There comes a time in our lives when God wants to take away the stuff that's slowing us down. Every one of us has some things that are hindering the completeness of the process. So today, I want you to look at yourselves because you are the only ones who can change yourselves.
Christians waste more time when we could be accomplishing things of greatness. Television is a waste of time. Hatred, anger, bitterness, are a waste of time. You don't have time to indulge in those things because it deters you from your real purpose. Your job is to find the way to get back to what God wants you to do with your life. That's the pruning He's talking about.
The fruitful life is within our grasp. The only question that remains is, do we have the will to bring it to pass?

Next week: A sermon by Rabbi Steve Wiseman at Temple Solel in Bowie



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