Living in the middle of farmland, it is always obvious when harvest is in full swing. Combines, semi-trucks, grain hoppers, pick-up trucks, and tractors are part of the daily traffic on the roads. It makes me smile as I think of the toil, sweat, occasional cuss word, and lots of prayer that tend to go into each field during the growing season. Coming from a farming heritage, I can only imagine the number of bushels that have been taken to market over the past century and a half.
As a believer, I am also to be producing in Christ’s name and through the Holy Spirit. Nothing that is for me or my legacy, but for the purposes God has given me. I was blessed with some one-on-one time with a young lady who was part of the high school group I led a few years ago. She is dear to me, someone I think of and pray for even today. My prayer is that she will continue to grow in her faith, as I pray for the other girls who were in the group. Many who are now in their final year of college, first year of “life.”
My husband knows I am easily distracted, so when I trying to accomplish a number of things, he recommended making a list. Last weekend he noticed that this plan backfired, as it seemed that I was focused on checking off the items, how many items can I check off in a day? I tend to make a Cinderella chore list and try to do it all in 24 hours or less.
So I have been reviewing my purpose; am I looking at the quality I produce or the amount I produce? Scripture has over 500 verses in the New Testament alone that include the word, produces. Many of these verses refer to the kind of growth I am striving toward.
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us, ” (Romans 5:1-5 HCSB).
Or these verses:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples,” (John 15:1-8 HCSB).
It all comes back to what am I trying to produce? A completed “to-do list” or a completed heart, grown deep and rich in the soil of the Holy Spirit?
Best Beloved, I long for the richness and depth that come from consistent study of Scripture. I know all the different parts that will make my roots grow deeply, my heart longs for it. My flesh on the other hand, seeks the check marks next to the tasks.
I will pray for you, I ask that you pray for me too, that we each reach deeply for the Love of Christ and not the applause of others. May we seek only the Audience of One.