“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11 NKJV
Works of darkness are the evil things you do- the things that are wrong; the things that bring harm to yourselves and also to others; the things you do that are sin in God’s eyes. These works of darkness are unfruitful – they are unproductive – they produce no good fruit.
Ephesians 5:3-5 says, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or ofany kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” These are unfruitful works of darkness. They are unproductive and a waste of time and ability. God is never pleased or satisfied with waste, unfruitfulness and unproductiveness.
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, `For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 “`Sir,’ the man replied, `leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'” Luke 13:6-9 NIV
A good farmer does not waste his time and resources on a tree that does not produce. It is wasting the soil and water that would be better used to feed and water a productive tree. If there is no fruit, there is no food. If there is no food, everything that relies on that fruit for food will die. It is not a small thing – it is a very important matter. God made everything to produce after its own kind. The fruit that a tree produces is food, but it is also seed for the next generation. Healthy living things always produce fruit. If a tree is dead and lifeless, it will not produce. Because dead things do not produce, God cuts down every thing that is dead.
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:1-8 NIV
You are a branch in the kingdom of God. Branches that do not bear fruit are eventually cut off and burned. Branches that bear fruit are pruned for more productive growth. Nobody wants to be cut off and burned and therefore you need to allow the Lord to prune you. In the pruning process, you must deal with the sin in your life, because it is unfruitful and it will make you unfruitful. You must bear good fruit in order to remain connected to the vine.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he isnearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9 NIV
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives. Titus 3:14 NIV
If you do not want to live an unproductive life, you must devote yourself to doing what is good!