Seasons Part Two
I really enjoy really enjoy reading these thoughts from Moments for You Tracts and I want to share them with you.
FRUIT IN SEASON
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:3
The Bible makes it clear that fruit is the test of the Christian life (Matthew 7:16-20, John 15:8) What is fruitfulness in the spiritual sense? We are to go about doing good as our Master did, but bearing fruit involves more than Christian activity. True fruitfulness is the natural result when the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) become evident in the Christian’s life.
What is the purpose of fruit? It’s nit merely for ornament or decoration. The fruit of trees is for feeding of hunger, and is likewise not enough to bear spiritual fruit for the beautifying out own life. The commandments to love God and our neighbor are linked together (Matthew 22:36-40). He who loves God will love his neighbor also. Hence we must bear fruit which will be a blessing to others. It is one of the best proofs of our spiritual life that others are helped, cheered, strengthened, or comforted by the things in us.
Scripture says we should be like a tree that brings forth fruit in season. Different kinds of fruit ripen at different times of the year. Young Christians should not be expected to be just like older Christians. We must not look for the ripeness of mature life from those who possess the inexperience of youth. In the natural world, there are weeks and weeks in which the fruit hangs upon the tree, and though it has every appearance of lusciousness, it is still hard and sour. But, at the time of ripening, all is changed, and the fruit is mellow and sweet! So it is in life. Many excellent people, with much promise of fruit, do not bring their fruit to perfection until the late autumn of life. Paul was an old man when he wrote that he had learned in whatsoever state he was in, to remain content (Philippians 4:11)
Some fruits do not ripen until the frosts come. Just so, some Christian lives do not yield their richest and best character until the frosts of sorrow have fallen upon them. Many Christians go on through joyous days, amid prosperity, pure in motive, earnest in activity—yet not bringing forth the best fruits. But when trouble comes—adversity, sorrow, loss—the fruit is ripened.
If we would bear fruit, there is a condition we must observe—we must abide in Christ. The roots of our lives must go down deep into His life—as the roots of the tree search for water. We must live so that the blessings of God’s love shall reach us—through our faith, through the Word, and through the Spirit of God. The fruitful tree—and the fruitful Christian—must be planted by the streams of water.
— J.R Miller, condensed
TAKING AND MAKING
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. - 2 Timothy 4:2
Chrysostom, in one of his writings, breaks down this exhortation into two imperatives: take opportunities and make opportunities to preach the word.
If we are to preach God’s word continuously we must take every opportunity—”Preach the word; be instant in season.” Every opportunity that is planned or programmed for the ministry of the world should be redeemed to the very be advantage. Our highly organized religious life produces wide-open doors for an effective witness. Not only are there the regular church services, but the many other scheduled events which come through the normal channels of Christian work.
To go a step further, we must make opportunities—”Preach the word..out of season.” We can become so conformed to and bound by the great machinery of Christendom that we lose our inspiration and vision, our sense of freedom and anointing. The servant of God is to save himself of that. He is not only to take the opportunities given to him, but to also make opportunities.
In exhorting Timothy in such a manner, the apostle was preaching what he practiced. You only have to study his missionary journeys, as recorded in the book of Acts, to see how Paul took opportunities to preach the word, and also made opportunities in city after city. (Acts 16:16-34; 19:9) This was likewise true of our Lord. He not only took advantage of the opportunities to preach the truth in the recognized centers of religious life on the Sabbath Day, but He also made opportunities for communicating the message of life. He transformed a mountainside into a Bible conference; a fishing boat into an evangelistic platform; a well-side into a counseling room; the shadows of the evening in to the experience of new birth. He preached the word continuously—and so must we.
—Adapted from Anointed Expository Preaching by David Olford
A WORD IN SEASON
“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” - Isaiah 50:4
I read that Albert Einstein was a the featured speaker at a dinner given at Swarthmore College. When it came time for him to speak, he astonished everyone by standing up and announcing, “I have nothing to say.” Then sat down.
A few moments later he stood up and added, “In case I have something to say, I will come back and say it.” Six months later he sent a message to the president of the college: “Now I have something to say.” Another dinner was held and he gave his speech.
Perhaps you have had the opportunities “to speak a word in season” to those who are weary, but you didn’t feel as if you had anything to say. If so, follow the example of the Servant of the Lord, the promised Messiah, whom we read about in Isaiah 50:4-10. Because he listened and obeyed what He heard, He had a message to give to others.
Open God’s word with eagerness to learn and do what He tells you to do. Think of the Lord as present and speaking to you, disclosing His mind, emotions, and will. Meditate on His words until you know what He is saying. Then, as the servant discovered, in time God will give you “the tongue of the learned.” If you listen to the Lord, you’ll have something worth saying. Open your ears to God before opening your mouth to others.
—David H. Roper, Our Daily Bread
Veronica is our guest relations director. Born and raised in New Mexico (so you know she loves green chile!). She enjoys cooking, laughing, and spending time with her husband, Gabriel, and four daughters (yes, four!), who all serve alongside her in the church.