Faithfulness and perseverance
For reading & meditation -- Luke 8:4-15
"... those ... who hear the word ... and by perseverance produce a crop." (v.15)
Our text for today in Moffatt's translation reads: "As for the seed in the good soil, that means those who hear and hold fast the word in a good, sound heart, and so bear fruit steadfastly." Note -- "so bear fruit steadfastly" -- only the steadfast are finally fruitful.The minister of a large church, when asked what was the outstanding need of his congregation, said: "Faithfulness. Fifty per cent of church members are hangers-on, getting a free ride, contributing nothing from purse or person; twenty-five per cent promise to do something and then, after a few stabs at it, drop out. They lack fidelity.
The life of this church is carried on by the remaining twenty-five per cent." D. L. Moody, the great American preacher, said: "If we could get people who put their hand to the plow and never draw back no matter what the wind or weather, we would have a growing and powerful church."How many of us, I wonder, have loose ends, broken promises, half-fulfilled tasks cluttering up our lives? Whose fault is it? It cannot be the fault of the Holy Spirit, for He dwells in us to provide the power to see things through -- if we let Him. Success in this area of the Christian life, as in all areas, is letting go and letting God -- letting go of self-effort and surrendering to the power of the Spirit who is resident in us. As someone once put it -- the Christian life is not my responsibility, but my response to His ability. I tell you, never does the Holy Spirit appear more wonderful than when He appears in the fruit of faithfulness.
Father, I recognize yet again that the fruit of the Spirit can only develop in me to the extent that I am surrendered. Help me go more deeply into You, this day and every day. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What conditions must we fulfil in order to reap a harvest?
2. In what are we to stand firm?