As in the habit and custom, whenever I am asked and get the opportunity to speak at an event, to preach and share the Word of God, I post my sermon notes online for all to review and see. I was given such an opportunity this past Tuesday evening (7/19/17) to be the keynote speaker at the School of Ministry (SOM) of Calvary Chapel Nexus. Not long ago, I myself graduated from the SOM and it was a delight and a special honor for me to come and share a word from the Lord to encourage the graduating students. My heart was blessed seeing once again all the SOM staff whom I consider to be mentors and true disciples of Christ.


Opening Comments:

First of all I want to thank the members of the SOM staff for having me back to be part of tonight’s graduation. I am both honored and thankful. Over the past week or so I have been doing some self-reflection about what I might be able to share with you tonight. And one of the questions I asked myself was why I had decided to go to SOM myself. And as I remembered back, I remembered the main reason I wanted to attend SOM was so that I could grow in my faith and to be able to serve the Lord better.

And so as I thought about what I could share tonight, the Lord kept bringing to my thoughts over and over this idea of being fruitful, bearing fruit, growing, being effective, productive in being a disciple of Jesus and what that means, and then going and making more disciples of Jesus. Sharing the Gospel and to minister and serve others.

As I thought on these things God took me back to the beginning. You see everything we are has its start in God. In who He is.


Our God, the God we serve, is a God of Life; not of death.

We know this from the very beginning, that God created…That He himself is the Creator. Destruction is what leads to death and nothingness. To create….to create “IS” the very expression of life. Our God is life and the expression of His Nature as Creator is to create life.

The very first thing God says of Himself in Genesis 1:1… In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

And as we read the account of creation, we see that God creates in verse 11, seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that “bear fruit with seed in it”, according to their various kinds.

He designed the plants and trees to GROW and to BEAR FRUIT with seeds in them so that they would be fruitful and the seeds would produce more plants according to their kinds

In verses 20-23 we see God creates life by creating all the living creatures of the sea and the birds of the air… in verse 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.

Just a few verses later in 26-28 we see God created mankind…

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.

AND SO, WE SEE…. That God is Life and as Creator He expresses who He is by creating life….and we see that within the life he created, throughout all his creation – from plants, creatures of the sea, birds of the air and even mankind himself, that within all life is “INHERIENT” the very Nature of God Himself “to BE FRUITFUL and INCREASE in number.”

And so from the very beginning we see that all Life has its source from God and is a living testimony unto God, who is the God of life.

Let’s Pray – Opening Prayer

Comments of Recognition: 

Tonight we have come to acknowledge the achievements of our brothers and sisters who over the course of the past 16-18 months of their lives set out on goal to attend the SOM to learn and to grow in their knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. So that they might gain a deeper understanding in how they might minister to others and serve the Lord.

And so as we congratulate you on your achievement of completing the SOM, we also recognize that tonight marks also the beginning of a new season in which many of the seeds you have planted while attending the SOM will now begin to take root and grow.


Subject: Having a fruitful ministry in Christ

Object: To be fruitful in the Knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ

I believe all of here desire to be used by God and have a ministry that will be fruitful and effective in bringing glory to God. And if you will permit me I would like to share with you a few things in which God is teaching me…about fruitful and effective ministry.


#1 – John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

The 1st thing I want to share is to always remember that apart from Christ, we can do nothing. So often the main cause of an unfruitful ministry is that we get focused on other things and Jesus sort of takes a back seat.

Church of Ephesus Rev 2:2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.

Let us never forget that we are first and foremost disciples of Christ our Lord.


#2 – Matt 28: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  • The charge we are given is to “Go make Disciples”. In the past, I have been guilty of translating this into shorthand to mean, “go share the gospel.” Of course, sharing the gospel is key to the whole process, but if we look carefully we see that the command is to make disciples. Jesus said two key things about being a disciple of His.
    • 1st You will know they are my disciples because they bear fruit by obeying my commands (What does Christ command? For us to love and serve one another)
    • 2nd He defined for us what a disciple is, in Luke 9:23 – Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
  • So when it says to “Go make disciples”, we are being sent to teach people to: Deny themselves, to take up their cross daily and to Follow Jesus. Only a person who is a disciple of Christ, who is denying themselves, can show and teach others how to deny themselves. Only a person who is a disciple of Christ, who is taking up their own cross daily, can show and teach others how to take up their cross daily. Only a person who is a disciple of Christ, who is following Jesus can show and teach others what it means to follow Jesus. It takes a disciple of Jesus in order to make disciples. Why? This is the way God designed it. Disciples making disciples, just like plants Bearing fruit with seeds in it and producing more plants “after their own kind“. (SOM – 2 Tim 2:2 Is teaching the same spiritual truth of being fruitful – “after their own kind”)

#3 – The last thing I want to share with you tonight is to read to you a passage of scripture that God has been using powerfully in my life and I hope it will bring everything together that we have been talking about. Please turn with me to 2 Peter chapter 1.

The apostle Peter is writing his 2 book to believers, starting in verse 3…(read slowly verse by verse letting each verse sink in)

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

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, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, 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 whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

(re-read verse 8 for emphasis)

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.


In conclusion:

The way to have a blessed and fruitful ministry is to:

  1. Remain in Christ, keeping Him always first and letting our relationship with Him to be the source of all we say and do.
  2. To make disciples of Christ, we must “be” disciples of Christ. To love Christ and others through denying ourselves, taking up our cross daily and following Jesus
  3. Make every effort to add to our faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection (brotherly kindness), love.

Many of us have a lot of knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, but if you are like me, much of this knowledge has not resulted in me being fruitful. If you want your knowledge of Jesus Christ to be fruitful, as verse 8 says, ”make every effort to possess these qualities in increasing measure.” And at the end of the list we find the word Love. It always seems to come back to that doesn’t it? Jesus said if you love Him you will obey His commands and what is it He commands us? To serve and love one another. Only a disciple of Christ will serve and love others by denying themselves, taking up their cross daily and following Him.

Jesus said:

John 15: 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


May God, the God of Life, bless you so that your faith and your ministry will be fruitful and increase as you serve and love one another.


By Him and for Him,

God Bless