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?