Do you think upright-living is uptight-living? Did you know that upright-living does not mean joy-less living? It means joy-filled living instead. Because upright-living is God-honoring and God is joy.
But, sure, we do need to stick to Jesus with patient endurance. We do need to seize the word of God and hold on no matter of what. We do need to be sincere and honest in our beliefs until the end.
Because if we don’t, we don’t mature. If we don’t, we spend our lives worrying about tomorrow, chasing after money and entertainment….and then we wonder why we don’t have any spiritual crop.
As for the seed that fell among thorny plants, these are the ones who, as they go about their lives, are choked by the concerns, riches, and pleasures of life, and their fruit never matures. The seed that fell on good soil are those who hear the word and commit themselves to it with a good and upright heart. Through their resolve, they bear fruit. (Luke 8:14-15, CEB, emphasis added)
Yesterday, when I read the parable of the Sower on a bus, I felt like it was the first time I read it. Like I had never read these words “their fruit never matures” before.
Maybe it took a cooler than normal summer to open my eyes. Sometime during the summer we did worry if we get much harvest. That would have been terrible. But just think, it’d be so much more devastating if our spiritual fruit never matured.
Seriously, what if our spiritual fruit never ripens? Lord, have mercy!
Sure, it is the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit in us. But not if don’t stick to the vine.
Do we let the latest sales or the next top box-office movie take the central stage of our lives? Or do we let the worries of the world steal us away from upright-living? Do we let suffering take our eyes off the Lord?
Because it is much better to suffer in the will of the Lord than have fun outside of God’s will. It might sound absurd but it’s true. God can give us so much more than all the riches of the world. Not just at the harvest time but right where we are, right now.
And here’s why: God gives out Wisdom free,
is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.
He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well,
a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.
He keeps his eye on all who live honestly,
and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.
(Proverbs 2:6-8, MSG)
Following Christ does not mean uptight-living. It’s not about rules and regulations. Following Christ is upright-living instead. It’s about honoring God in everything we do. It’s about embracing God’s love and grace and living in joy and hope no matter what. It’s about holding the word of God fast in a sincere and upright heart and sticking with it until the harvest. It’s about resolving to abide in Christ through thick and thin and, by the grace of God, maturing and bearing fruit.
Strengthen our resolve to stick to Jesus no matter of what.
Grant us patient endurance to steadily hold on to You.
Pour our grace upon grace…
…so we can rejoice in the midst of hardships.
…so we can bear fruit according to your plan.
…so we can live uprightly with great joy.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What are the dangers that tempt you to turn your attention away from God?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you stick to Jesus no matter what! And share the bounty of spiritual fruit!
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Giving thanks today for
#731 the Holy Spirit reminding us to hold fast
#732 the Holy Spirit speaking to us in most unexpected places
#733 upright-living has most benefits
#734 uptight-living is not what God has planned for us
#735 God’s blessings are real
#736 God’s promises are real
#737 God’s help is real
#738 God’s guidance is real
#739 God’s strength is real
#740 God’s grace is real
Image courtesy of Joel Joseph. Linking up today with Linking up today with What’s on Your Heart Tuesdays , Wordfilled Wednesday, All Things Heart & Home , God-Bumps and God-incidences , Work in Progress, One Word at a Time: Sincere, and