Why delight in the Word?
When a person delights in it, when he or she meditates on the Bible consistently, and the Holy Spirit is working in him, there will be fruit. It will always be there, even if only incrementally at first. But why does that fruit exist? Consider Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
The metaphor the psalmist uses in Psalm 1:3 is that of a tree in fertile ground, a healthy one that bears fruit in its season. Does a tree need fruit? Does it do the tree good? I mean, it doesn’t nourish the tree. The soil does that. It doesn’t give it life. The water does that. But its fruit does spread life—the fruit begets and nourishes new life.
In the same way, it’s not the fruit of our faith that gives us life—the living water that Christ gives us and that we come to know in His Word—that water gives us life. Our fruit benefits those around us—serving as encouragement to them, and perhaps being a catalyst for them finding new life in Christ.
So just think of one biblical example of two people who bore tremendous fruit for a moment: Timothy and Epaphroditus. In Philippians 2:19-27, Paul wrote that, “there is no one like him [Timothy] who will be genuinely concerned for your [the believers at Philippi] well being.”
There was no one like Timothy, among all those with whom Paul served. Think about that. Timothy was incredibly self-sacrificing. He would, without question, put aside his own interests for the sake of others. He wanted to see the gospel’s work completed in their lives. His love and concern—his Spirit-wrought love of others—was the fruit of his faith. Similarly Epaphroditus, Paul’s “brother” in the faith, his “fellow worker and fellow soldier and your messenger and minister to my needs,” was greatly distressed because Philippians had heard he was ill. He wanted their hearts to be glad. His desire was for their joy.
That is good fruit. That is the kind of fruit that nourishes and begets life. That’s the kind of fruit that comes from a life devoted to the Lord, to knowing his Word, to meditating on it day and night. The Spirit will always work through his word to bring about this kind of fruit.
Friends, if we are lacking in fruit, our response should not be to try harder or make promises to do more better. Instead, let’s turn to the word of God. For as we devote ourselves to the word, the Spirit will bring about much fruit.