A life more fruitful


Mark Twain said that the human race had one really 'effective' weapon - laughter. I think our most effective weapon is not really laughter as much as it is the Word of God. Laughter might give us a momentary release - the Word of God and what it can accomplish within us is lasting and sure. Have you ever been reading through scripture only to find something within the passage 'calls out' some behavior you have been struggling with, or reveals some answer to a worry you have been mulling over? The purpose of the Word of God is to teach us - to make us wise. We are able to discern direction once hidden from us because of the work of the Spirit of God within us and the revelation of the Word of God to us. If we want more than an 'immediate release', we need to take in what can give us a permanent and secure hope.

If you rebuke a mocker, you will only get a smart retort; yes, he will snarl at you. So don’t bother with him; he will only hate you for trying to help him. But a wise man, when rebuked, will love you all the more. Teach a wise man, and he will be the wiser; teach a good man, and he will learn more. For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom. Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding. “I, Wisdom, will make the hours of your day more profitable and the years of your life more fruitful.” Wisdom is its own reward, and if you scorn her, you hurt only yourself. (Proverbs 9:8-12)

Who among us doesn't want a more fruitful life? If we embrace God's wisdom - the holy scriptures - we are bound to see fruit. Why? The seed of truth isn't just casually cast into our lives - it is purposefully placed. Teach a wise man and he will be wiser - because the seed is taken in, then it is turned over in the fertile soil of his heart and nurtured there by the Spirit of God until it takes root. When good seed takes root, fruit is bound to come forth. Knowing God results in every kind of understanding - even though we are unlearned in so many ways, God's Spirit can give us wisdom far beyond our years or education. 

Wisdom adds years to our lives - years that become more settled and certain as we allow God to impart his wisdom within. We could go through life on our own, but the wise man or woman will embrace all the help to sort out life's woes and worries as much as possible. Why? They have learned trusting in one's own ability to consistently produce the best outcomes (fruit) is pretty close to impossible. Good men exist, but any goodness that is 'self-made' is still flawed goodness. There is but one 'goodness' that is perfect - Christ's. There is but one source of true goodness of heart, mind, and spirit - to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ with all we have within us. 

Seeds will be planted today. They can be seeds of goodness and grace, springing forth in season in an even bigger harvest of that which reveals the goodness and grace of God within. They can be seeds of self-seeking, pride, or mistrust - all producing a harvest, but not always a good one that is 'unmixed' with the tares of this world. God's Word isn't to be trifled with - it is the source of much life and goodness. Take it in - trust it to accomplish its work. That work may be correction - reminding us of choices that have not been all that wise. It may be confirmation - allowing us to feel at peace with decisions we are about to make. How is that? The Word of God is purposeful - it is focused on the harvest that is about to be produced by being introduced to the soil of our hearts and minds. A ready heart and an open mind go a long way in providing soil that is fertile for fruitful growth. Just sayin!

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