“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, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. John 15:16.

There are many things I learned growing up on a grape farm in Michigan. But no more of a life lesson did I learn from my father the farmer than during those cold wintery days on a hill side up under the grape rows! It was there I learned the importance of the “Vine” and the huge difference between suppression and expression. You see, in the vineyards, if the grape leaves covered the grape buds that would suppress the sunlight from giving the grapes valuable nutrients from the sun. More vines was not better. More leaves would not allow the grapes to express themselves so to speak.

Religion Suppression

There’s a fine line now a days with religion acting as a suppression rather than expression. Religion has over the years been so narrow scripted, preached down to the people that some churches wonder why their congregations are stagnant or even shrinking. Condemnation doesn’t work anymore. Inspiration does! You can still teach the principles of scripture without making the people feel inadequate, judged or even demoralized. People want to be inspired and uplifted today, not pointed a finger at.

Devine Expression

Expression does not mean losing your core principles of your particular religious beliefs. It means having the peace of mind and heart that Jesus wants you to have all the while having the joy to go out and share it. Why on earth would anyone want to come join your church if you and your peers are suppressed? But if they see the joyful expressive style, then that becomes a magnet. Divine expression cannot be helped but attractive.

Bear Fruit

If you want to know if you are suppressing or expressing your peers and people, just look at the fruit you are bearing. Numbers don’t lie. If your church or small group is staying the same for a period of time, you are suppressing. If it’s growing then continue doing the same. Religion is suppose to be attractive not repulsive. A true believer attracts a following which goes out and teaches the great commission not suppression. Use a little common sense here. Ask yourself, “Would you want to join your church or small group?”

Then Messenger