Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bear Fruit with Patience

“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15

In Luke 8, Jesus told the parable of the sower. He described the different places the seeds were tossed and the amount of fruit the plant would produce, as an analogy to a person’s response to the word and the consequences of such actions. Leaving the very best and most successful response to the end, Jesus added clarification to the way a person might yield the most fruit. It is not through sporadic determination, but rather a particular, consistent state of being the person must maintain. The heart of the person must be “noble and good.” Jesus, also, emphasized the importance of bearing fruit with patience. The fact that patience is a requirement implies that the actual fruit might not always be evident or salient in a person’s life; however, the process of producing the fruit, even as it is unseen, should always be occurring.

An example of this is in Genesis 22, when Abraham is put through the ultimate test of faith and obedience. Here, he is asked to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. It was not a sudden act of faith or a random act of obedience that leads Abraham to the right decision, but rather it is the product of Abraham’s constant walk with God. His heart was in a state of being “noble and good.” By having the right attitude and perspective, he was able to act in full submission.

Even though he acted in obedience, regarding God more important than his son, the fruit of his obedience was not revealed until after he had gone through all the steps to perform a sacrifice. He had to gather his supplies, make the trek, and prepare the altar; however, Abraham trusted fully in God’s plan. He trusted so much so that he was willing to wait, excruciatingly so, for God’s redemptive powers to come to fruition. He didn’t know what God was going to do, but he knew God would do what was best. Therefore, Abraham was consistently obedient and completely patient, and as a result, he was able to bear the fruit.

Likewise, in our lives we must not only maintain the right heart and attitude, we must also be patient. First and foremost, it is critical that we consistently seek God, in good and bad times. We must believe in Him even in circumstances that do not seem clear. We must be always diligent in acquiring a “noble and good heart.” Although we cannot obtain such a state on our own because our hearts are deceitfully wicked, we can ask God daily to cleanse us from our selfish ambitions and evil ploys.

Secondly, we need to be patient. This is hard because we have a tendency to want to see the results of our labors immediately. However, God will place us in certain events that will test our patience. Though the steps seem like many, each one is crucial in the process of producing the final fruit. We must, like Abraham, simply be obedient to the tasks and duties God has given us, and trust that He will help us to be fruitful in the end.

Dear God,

Please help me to be continually in Your will, maintaining a right and pure heart before You. Help me to be patient with whatever You are doing in my life, even though the end results may not be clear at the moment. May each step I take be in obedience and submission to You.

No comments: