How to Know if You’re a Powerful, Fruitful Christian

Sometimes fruitfulness is not what you think it is.

Are you a fruitful Christian? I live in California, where “fruits, nuts and flakes ripen in the sun.” There’s some truth to that barb. But there’s also great truth to the idea that as Christians, we’re called to be fruitful. In John 15:1-17 Jesus gave an entire teaching about fruitfulness. He said, “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” (John 15:8 NLT)


But this presents a problem when we look around and see the successes of other Christians. Who do we often compare ourselves to? Answer: to those with more. More fruit, more numbers, more finances, more Facebook and Twitter followers, more “likes,” more awards, and so on.

Compared to great Christian leaders, I’m a complete and utter failure IF I look at fruitfulness in the wrong way.

So how should we look at fruitfulness?

Here are 4 ways to know that you are a powerful, fruitful Christian:

Since Jesus paid the price, is everyone heaven-bound?

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Is everyone heaven-bound since “Jesus paid it all?” This is a new teaching among some who call themselves Christians. Some have begun preaching an “Evangelical Universalism” meaning they claim to believe the Scriptures, but believe that everyone is saved and heaven-bound. But is there any truth to it?


Dr. Chris Gnanakan

My guest in this podcast is a professor of theology at Liberty University. He is well-equipped to tackle this question and a similar in next week’s podcast on “Since hell is real, what is a Christian’s mission?” In fact, Dr. Chris Gnanakan has been a frequent guest on my podcast and has spoken other times on similar subjects such as:

Who is Chris?

Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions!

Christians must humbly evaluate criticism in the light of Scripture.

Feedback, especially the unrequested critical kind, can hurt badly. Recently I got some unsolicited negative feedback. How did I feel? Dejected, rejected, self-condemning? What did I do? Lash out, clam up, become bitter? Better yet, what do you do when you get unsolicited criticism?


CC Image courtesy of Flickr

In this article I’d like to share 4 ways to handle feedback. The first three are harmful and the last one is helpful.

Here are 4 ways to handle unsolicited feedback:

Can born again Christians be demonized?

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This question born again Christians being demonized is very controversial. Some feel strongly that it is impossible. They are almost offended by the question. Others aren’t so sure. Still others feel this is very much possible and happens frequently.


Bishop Garry Bryant

In this podcast my guest Bishop Garry Bryant give some great responses in answer to this question. Thanks to Garry for tackling this tough question of whether or not Christians can be demonized.

To listen to this podcast just hit the play button above.

Who is Garry?

The Goal of the Great Commission is Disciples

Not just decisions, baptisms, numbers, scholars, etc

Making disciples is vital. That’s why I recently announced the founding of a new ministry called “Discipleship Journeys with Jesus” (DJJ). The Lord laid it on my heart to start this new ministry in order to meet the crucial need of making committed disciples around the world.


Baptism scene in India last month

In His Great Commission Jesus said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

Jesus’ parting command was to “make disciples.” But what is a disciple? The original Greek word is MATHETES. It means “someone catechized with proper instruction from the Bible with its necessary follow-through (life-applications).”

An easy description is a devoted follower. MATHETES was used for followers of John the Baptist in Matthew 9:14 and of others such as the Pharisees in Matthew 22:16.

We must not be confused by unbiblical, or even biblical substitutes for true biblical disciples:

What is demonization and is it real?

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Is demonization real? What is it? For that matter, what are demons? How do they influence people? Can they inhabit people’s bodies, minds, spirits? These are the types of questions answered by my guest in today’s podcast, Bishop Garry Bryant.


Bishop Garry Bryant

To listen to this podcast on demonization just hit the play button above.

Opposition Often Means You’re Right on Track

Does God have a wonderful plan for your life?

One of the ironies of life is that the more you succeed, the more you’ll face opposition. This seems especially ironic when you succeed in serving God. As we serve the Lord, we get opposition from enemies, from friends and from the Evil One.


Recently I spent time in India with a church leader who is making wonderful advances for the Lord. Yet he’s often verbally threatened by the enemies of the Gospel. He fears for his family, for his ministry and for his personal safety. Some of his workers have indeed been physically mistreated.

Here in America, we usually have a friendlier atmosphere. Yet it seems that while opposition is often subtler, it is just as real.

Does this opposition mean we’ve gotten off track and lost our way? No, quite the opposite. Opposition often means we’re right on track.

Here are 3 reasons opposition can mean you’re right on track with God:

What is the virgin birth?

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Some mock the virgin birth. Some who call themselves Christians question it or even deny it. Others misunderstand the virgin birth. So what is the virgin birth? In this podcast my great friend Dr. Jayakumar Ramachandran answers this question. He also explains why it is so important to the Christian faith

virgin birth

Dr. Jayakumar Ramachandran

Recently Jay was in my home and we sat down to talk over these issues.

To listen to this podcast just hit the play button above.

Here are some Scripture passages that explain the virgin birth:

Adjust Your Plans Based on God’s New Direction

Does God ever change his mind?

Does God ever allow us to go in one direction and then give us a new direction? Recently I wrote on “How to Know God’s Will in Difficult Decisions.” As challenging as it might seem to find God’s will, sometimes it seems God leads us in one direction only to soon lead us in another.

new direction

A church I’m helping called a pastor to a ministry assignment about a year ago. We hoped for many years of ministry partnership, but recently he announced his soon departure. Did we misunderstand God’s calling? Did he misunderstand? Is he being led wrongly? Are we?

Sometimes it’s confusing.

So here are 3 things to consider about being led in a new direction:

How to Know God’s Will in Difficult Decisions

It’s easier than you might think.

My wife Carolyn is better at making difficult decisions than me. I tend to think it all through very carefully, weighing the pros and cons, taking time to analyze all aspects and so on. Carolyn, on the other hand, comes to a conclusion quickly, announces her decision without hesitation and it’s over. I’ve often been a little envious of her in this.

difficult decisions

A good example is when we first met. Carolyn was quickly convinced that I was the one for her and that we should get married. (She made it clear to me.) But I was slower to come to that conclusion. In fact, she is happy to take credit for our marriage happening. She’s convinced that if she wouldn’t have pushed me along, we would never have gotten married.

In my weaker moments like right now, I admit that she’s probably right.

Maybe you’re more like Carolyn or maybe you’re more like me. If you’re more like me, this article should be especially helpful.

I’ve gotten better at making decisions, both big and small ones, based on my biblical understanding of a passage of Scripture in the Epistle of James.

So from James 1, here are 3 steps to know God’s will in difficult decisions: