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Faithful and Fruitful: Part 2

When we share how the love of Jesus changed our lives, we can let others know that he wants to do the same in their lives as well.

 

Growing up on a farm gave me the unique "privilege" of experiencing a large garden, which really means experiencing large amounts of work required by said garden. While I didn’t recognize it at the time, I understood from an early age the principle of sowing a seed and patiently waiting for the abundant harvest.

This process became more clear to me when I set myself on a path to produce a prize-winning watermelon. As a kid, I was captivated by the picture of a large watermelon on the side of the watermelon seed packet. I went after my goal. At the right time, I placed the seed in the freshly tilled soil, covered it with another layer of soil, while picturing a huge harvest of watermelons that were big and round on the outside and red and juicy on the inside. It was only a matter of time. I knew that watermelon plants needed water regularly, but after about four weeks of watering faithfully, I grew tired of the trivial task. I saw my first blossom turn into a tiny melon the size of a turtle and I was pumped. However, I underestimated the combination of the heat of the summer days and the lack of moisture for the plant.

 

 

The small melon never grew any bigger because I had failed to give the plant the water that it needed to nourish and nurture the fruit. When it came time to pick that first melon, what was supposed to be red and sweet was white and tasteless. The watermelon never reached its full potential which meant I didn’t reach mine as a premier, prize-winning watermelon producer. My vision for the harvest was clear but my commitment to doing what it took to get the harvest fell short. Isn’t that how life is sometimes?

My vision for the harvest was clear but my commitment to doing what it took to get the harvest fell short.

We have enthusiasm for the goal but lack execution in the grind. Jesus tells a parable in Luke 13 about a man who planted a fig tree in his garden. He came again and again with an expectation to see if there was any fruit on the tree but was always disappointed when he saw none. Finally, after waiting three years, he decided to cut it down because it was just taking up space. His gardener told him, “Give it one more chance, and I’ll give it special attention by digging around it and giving it plenty of fertilizer and after one more year, see if it will produce any fruit.” (Luke 13:6-9)

The gardener had the resolve not to let the grind of gardening prevent him from accomplishing the tree’s purpose to produce. God desires every person to be fruitful. This means focusing on accomplishing God’s will for our lives according to his Word. But sometimes when we don’t see the results we hope for or desire, there can be a tendency to give up too soon.

Jesus invited every one of his followers to be part of gathering the harvest. The fruit we gather is people brought to eternal life (John 4:36). I am continually in awe that Jesus would assign such an important task to imperfect humans with the only qualification being one of his followers. Accomplishing the task of bringing people to eternal life starts with a simple invite to “come and see.” When we share how the love of Jesus changed our lives, we can let others know that he wants to do the same in their lives as well.

When we share how the love of Jesus changed our lives, we can let others know that he wants to do the same in their lives as well.

While the idea of being a part of bringing people to eternal life can sound exciting, the reality is that there needs to be a commitment to this call to action. Like watering watermelons even when we don’t see the results, being faithful to the task of inviting others to experience God’s love will make us fruitful in gathering the harvest. In whatever season we face, my prayer is that we would stay focused on being faithful and fruitful.

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