“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
100-Fold Christians, by Randall D. Kittle

A few weeks ago, while reading a book by A. W. Tozer called The Crucified Life, something in the first chapter grabbed my heart and the Holy Spirit gave me a “divine implosion.” It was as if He was suddenly giving me understanding to things I’ve never quite grasped before. The Holy Spirit highlighted a portion of what I was reading and all sorts of things I’ve always wondered about began to fall into place and click. Allow me to share with you what God showed me by relating three simple points.

Point #1 – God Expects Us to be Fruitful
The Scriptures are replete with verses that reveal to us God’s expectations, instructions, and commands for believers to be fruitful. Let me share just a few:

• Psalm 1:1–3 –
“Blessed is the man who … delights in the law of the Lord … He will be like a tree firmly planted by the rivers of water, which yields its fruit in its season.”

• Psalm 92:12–14 – “The righteous man will flourish like a palm tree … He will still yield fruit in old age.”

• John 15:4–5 – “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.”

• John 15:16 – “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain”

• Colossians 1:10 –
“Live a life worthy of the Lord pleasing Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work.”

Certainly, the Bible shows us that God expects our lives to bear fruit, and perhaps no portion of Scripture makes this more clear than the Parable of Fig Tree found in Luke 13:6–9. Simply stated, there was a tree that wasn’t producing any fruit. So, the owner of the vineyard considered tearing it out. However, the caretaker asked permission to give it special care and fertilize it and then if it still failed to bear fruit he would cut it down. It can be summed up simply — be fruitful or be removed.

This parable almost makes it sound as if fruitfulness for a Christian is required … and the truth is, yes, it is! With all the Lord has done for us and in us when we are born again, He does expect the seed of new life He has planted within us to bear fruit. A Christian life is supposed to be fruitful, for as the book of James puts it,
“Faith without works is dead” (James 2:17).

The parable of the fig tree reminds me of another interesting Biblical passage at which I’ve always marveled. Throughout the New Testament, we observe much of Jesus’ ministry — and it’s a ministry marked by blessing. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins by declaring,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit … those who mourn … the meek … those who hunger and thirst for righteousness … the merciful … the pure in heart … the peacemakers … those who are persecuted for righteousness sake” (Matthew 5:3–10). In other places, we see Jesus blessing children, blessing those who hear the word of God and obey it, and blessing those who have not seen and yet believe.

Yet, there is one time recorded in Scripture when Jesus clearly curses something. What was the only thing Jesus ever cursed in the Bible? A fig tree! (see Matthew 21:18–22). Jesus is hungry and sees a fig tree laden with leaves. But after He takes the time to go out of His way and walk over to this tree, He discovers that it doesn’t have any fruit. In fact, it didn’t even have any buds on it that would produce fruit. Looking at this hypocritical, fruitless tree — this tree that appeared full of life yet had no fruit to give, Jesus curses it. Why? The whole purpose of a fig tree is to produce figs. A fig tree that doesn’t yield any figs is like an oasis that doesn’t have any water!

My friends, there is a very important lesson we need to take to heart from this. God expects us to be fruitful. In fact, fruitfulness is a defining characteristic of a true Christian faith! If you are truly a Christian, your life is going to be fruitful.

The fruit you bear may not always be immediately obvious. We won’t really know the full extent of the fruit our lives have produced until we reach eternity. I believe this will be one of the biggest blessings of eternity (besides the joyous truth that we will be with the Lord). While we won’t realize how fruitful our lives have truly been until eternity, the general fruit of our lives should be obvious to most observers.

Point #2 – Not All Soil Produces the Same Yield
The parable of the sower, found in the fourth chapter of Mark, shows us not only what different types of soil are barren, but also that even different types of good soil produce different yields. “Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil.  And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold”(Mark 4:3–8).

This parable indicates that not all believers are the same. While all believers are to be fruitful, they won’t all have the same fruitfulness. Some Christians will yield 30-fold; some will yield 60-fold, and others will yield 100-fold. In
The Crucified Life, A. W. Tozer sadly recounts how much our preaching, teaching, and writing is geared for the 30-fold crowd, with little done for the 60-fold believers, and almost none for the 100-fold. Yet, it is the 100-fold Christians who advance the kingdom of God the most and leave a lasting impact.

In Acts 10:34, Peter clearly declares,
“God is no respecter of persons,” which means He doesn’t show favoritism. So, we know that God sows good seed into everyone’s lives! It is not the seed that varies but the soil.

Soil Effects Yield
To any farmer, it should be obvious that not all soil produces the same yield. My father inherited a family farm in western Nebraska where he was born and raised. As he managed it over the years, he found that if he planted the same corn in his “upper field” as he did in his “lower field,” the lower field always yielded a better harvest. The soil in the lower field was richer and consistently out-produced the other field by 20 or more bushels per acre.

How do you and I become 100-fold Christians? This parable tells us what makes poor soil, what causes seeds to be unproductive, but it doesn’t reveal what makes the best soil! So, I asked the Lord, “How do we make the soil of our hearts able to yield 100-fold?” He answered,
“What did I say is the first and greatest commandment?”… and then He showed me five different Bible characters.

When the Pharisee asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment in the Law, He answered,
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment”(Matthew 22:36–38). The key to understanding and applying these verses is the little three-letter word “all.” This passage doesn’t merely say we are to love the Lord with our heart, soul, and mind … but with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind! We must love the Lord with all that we are!

I really began to understand what God was saying as I studied the first Bible character He showed me …
Caleb. Here is what God said about Caleb in Numbers 14:24, “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” Caleb was different from most of his brethren because he followed God wholeheartedly. Caleb pursued the Lord with all his heart. That is what God is looking for from each of us!

Point #3 – God is looking for Wholehearted Believers
The 100-fold Christian is the one who has chosen to follow Him wholeheartedly. It is the wholehearted believers who will yield 100-fold for His kingdom. Those whose hearts are 100% God’s will yield 100-fold for His kingdom.

The dictionary defines “wholehearted” as:
1) completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic; 2) marked by complete earnest commitment: free from all reservation or hesitation. Hundred-fold Christians won’t hesitate or hold anything back, they are set; determined and excited to go after the things of God.

After Caleb, I saw David whom God said was a man after His own heart! To understand why God considered David such a pursuer of His heart look at what David declares in Psalms 27:4, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.” David sought God wholeheartedly. How many things did he seek? One … God! David had an agenda, and it was, “I want more of God!”

Then I saw
Abraham whom God said was His friend. Abraham left his home and his family to be a wanderer in pursuit of God. He was a man who truly walked by faith! Abraham was willing to offer his own son back to God … a divine foreshadowing of Father God’s sacrifice at Calvary. Abraham obeyed God wholeheartedly.

Next, I saw
Peter who told the Lord, “I have given up everything to follow You, Lord.” He was zealous for God. Just think of him pulling out his sword and cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s servant when 100 or more Roman soldiers surrounded him. Put this in perspective. Peter is there with a group of as few as four people, and they’ve been surrounded by 100-300 officials and soldiers. Peter’s action was not necessarily wisdom … but it did show his zeal for the Lord. Peter was also desperate for the Lord. Why else would he step out of a boat to walk out to Jesus on a wave-tossed sea? But most of all, Peter was dependent on Christ. When other followers departed from following Jesus, he would not. When Jesus said to Peter, “Do you also want to go away” (John 6:67), Peter replied, “Where would we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Peter depended upon God wholeheartedly.

Finally, I saw the apostle
Paul who did more to advance God’s kingdom than any other person in history. Here is what Paul said as his life was winding down toward its end: “I want to know Christ … Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. … But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:10–14). How refreshing to find the one person who perhaps knew Christ the best in all the world still hungering to know Him better. The prize Paul was hungering for wasn’t a crown of glory or the accolades of man. The one thing he wanted was to know Jesus fully and completely and to become just like Him. Paul hungered for God wholeheartedly.

As believers, we need to make the Lord the “one thing” we desire above everything else! You and I need to become wholehearted pursuers of Christ:
following Him with our whole heart … seeking Him with our whole heart … obeying Him with our whole heart … depending upon Him with our whole heart … and hungering for more of Him with our whole heart. 

I can’t give you a checklist of what to do: spend “X” time in prayer … read “Y” amount of the Bible … and do “Z” number of good deeds each day. That wouldn’t make you wholehearted; that would just make you a Pharisee. You would be pursuing a checklist instead of pursuing the Lord, and while you might look good on the outside, you could be as barren as the fig tree Jesus cursed.

To be 100-fold Christians, we must choose an intimate relationship with Jesus over
everything else. God’s calling us to go beyond what we are currently doing. He wants us to live every day with first love passion for the Lord — giving Him a “blank check,” saying, “Lord, do in my life what ever You want.”

But in order to accomplish this, you will need to make tangible changes in your life. You may need to get up earlier in the morning to commune with God through His Word and in prayer and worship. That might mean you need to throttle back the time you spend on one of your hobbies, or there might be some other activity you need to put on the back-burner. But isn’t it worth it to become a 100-fold Christian — one who’s wholeheartedly God’s and will impact this world and leave a legacy of fruit that will last for all eternity? We can’t settle for just reading the Bible. God’s wanting us to read the Bible longing to know Him in it and find His heart. God wants us to be people of prayer who pour out our hearts to Him and listen for His response. God wants us to praise Him, but more than that He wants us to worship Him wholeheartedly until we know we’ve touched His heart.

God wants us to be 100-fold believers. Every one of us is capable of being one. The question is: “Are you willing to let the Lord plow up the fallow ground of your heart and do what it takes to become a 100-fold Christian?”

He is Waiting
Allow me to share a story I read a while back in a devotional written by David C. Egner. In it, he tells the story of Jane Welsh, the secretary to Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle. She married him and devoted her life to him and his work. He loved her deeply but was very well-known and so busy with his writing and speaking that he often neglected her. After they had been married for a while, she became ill and suddenly died.

After her funeral, Thomas went alone into Jane’s room and looked at her diary. He found these words she had written about him,
“Yesterday he spent an hour with me and it was like heaven. I love him so.” On another day, she wrote, “I have listened all day to hear his steps in the hall, but now it is late. I guess he will not come today.” With that, Thomas Carlyle broke and wept bitterly, realizing his neglect of her and her desire just to talk with him.

As I read that, I couldn’t help but think of how much God loves us and how often He waits for us to fellowship with Him. How many days do we forget Him?

As the Lord did with the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3, He is knocking on the door of your heart and patiently waiting. He listens attentively for your cry, your call, your prayer. How often does He wait in vain? Don’t make Him wait any longer. Make the decision to wholeheartedly pursue the Lord
today … He longs to hear from you and be with you.

Are you willing to make a commitment to change whatever the Lord would ask — whatever change might be necessary to spend more time with Him so you truly become a 100-fold Christian who has great intimacy with the Lord and is producing much fruit for Him? If so, please pray this prayer with me:

“Lord, You see my heart, and You know me better than I know myself. You love me richly and deeply just as I am. I long to be pleasing to You, and to bring glory to your kingdom in my life and through my life. I want to be fruitful for You. I make the choice this day to follow You with my whole heart, to seek You with all that I am, to obey You instantly, to depend upon You in all things, and to hunger for more of You every day of my life. I ask You to reveal to me anything and everything I need to change to make the soil of my heart more fruitful for your kingdom. I long to be a 100-fold Christian who will produce much fruit — fruit that will remain for all eternity. Holy Spirit help me to read the Bible longing to know You and to know your heart. Help me to not settle for simply praying a list of requests, but to pour out my heart to You and listen for You to respond. Help me to worship You with my whole heart until You have been blessed. Use my life to bless your name and build your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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All contents of this website are protected under copyright. Living Water Ministry © ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­2019 All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2020, Living Water Ministry, All Rights Reserved.