4. Fresh and Mature

Fruit-bearing requiring the maturity and freshness in life

For a man produced and self-serving movement (i.e. a “local church movement” or a “Lord’s recovery movement”) what is needed is organization, promotion, advertisement, to draw a huge crowd. One needs to gather the best and the brightest and formalize control over the whole situation to orchestrate the desired result. But to grow something by life needs a small seed to fall into the ground. We do not want a movement. There is no sweetness from the Lord’s presence in a “local church movement” and a “Lord’s recovery movement” bears His name in outward appearance only. What God desires requires the members of the Lord’s body to remain in Him as the vine.

The “abiding” in John 15 is not an ordinary living. It carries the meaning of lodging and residing. In 14:2 the Lord said, “In My Father’s house are many abodes.” The noun abode has the same root as the verb abide in 15:4. What the Lord means here is that we should lodge and abide in Him. There should be nothing between Him and us. We should never be separated but should instead be one forever. At the same time, in order for a tree to bear fruit, there must be the growth and maturity. A young tree cannot bear fruit. But for a mature tree to bear fruit there must be the new branches. Hence, maturity and freshness are the conditions for fruit-bearing. Those brothers and sisters who have been saved for a long time may be mature; but it is possible that they do not have fresh branches. If you are mature but old, you cannot bear fruit. In order for a tree to bear fruit, the farmer has to cut off the old branches and retain the original trunk so that the old trunk will bear new branches. The new branches will then bear fruit. … If you go to the villages in an old way, you will not have the flavor of the new life, and people will not be saved. A gospel preacher must be one who is full of the flavor of new life. When this life enters into man, it results in fruit-bearing. When you go down to the villages, you are not promoting a movement but are conducting a living that is full of the flavor of the new life and that bears new fruit through living Jesus.

What we want, what the Lord desires, is not a local church movement. Men can build up a façade with the appearance of something great and even introduce the Lord’s name into it’s title, like “Lord’s recovery movement.” But the bearing of fruit first requires us to be in Him as the unique tree. Then there must be some growth, some maturing. But even with the maturing there must be the fresh branches from the farmer’s pruning.

Lord, do keep us from any kind of local church movement. How we desire to cooperate with You, to abide in You, to grow with Your life, and even to be pruned by You. Lord, recover in us the genuine experience of You. Keep us from merely being a “Lord’s recovery movement.” We want to have a living that is full of the flavor of Your new life and bearing fruit by living You.

To have the Lord’s recovery in reality and not as a movement requires the Lord Himself to be the initiator. To have genuine local churches, not a movement, requires the oneness in life, the growth, the maturity, and the living that comes from abiding in Him.


1. God's Move    2. Movement or Life    3. Go Bear Fruit    4. Fresh and Mature    5. Dealing    6. Life Action    Key Verses   

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Local Churches    Local Church    Lord's Recovery    church in Salt Lake City