Several years ago my husband and I began to buy (literally) into the whole, healthy, and often organic food-marketing scheme. From a wellness standpoint, it just makes sense to us. Needless to say, a large percent of our budget is now spent putting green, leafy and otherwise colorful food from the ground, bushes or trees onto our plates and into our bodies. Our actions are aimed at a certain outcome: to stave off illness and to feel and live better today – each day…rather than later when it’s necessary or too late.
Taking steps to intentionally focus on putting more produce into our system has paid off these past few years. We feel better, shed a few unwanted pounds, and generally have more energy. Don’t get me wrong, I often yearn for and still eat sweets and carbs. Seeduction bread from Whole Foods – I highly recommend it! Blue Bell Great Divide, anyone? Yet, in spite of my desire for a sugar fix – I know my body needs nourishment from certain foods. Eating is intended to do my body good.
In other words, my produce has purpose.
How To Know If Your Produce Has Purpose
If you can make the leap from my eating habits to looking at this ‘produce has purpose’ topic in a spiritual light, the question, “Does my produce have purpose?” becomes critical.
I believe my answer to the question – and maybe yours, too – will include the words ‘sometimes’, ‘often’, or maybe even a ‘not really’. How do we know? At least part of our answer is found in the scripture below, John 15:5-8.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not remain in me,
he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers;
such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
If you remain in me, and my words remain in you,
ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.
In these four verses, Jesus used the word ‘remain(s)’ four times as he speaks to his disciples about bearing fruit. He tells them this fruit bearing only happens when they remain in him and when he (Jesus) and his word remain in them.
Remaining (staying, not moving away from) is obviously a big deal with regard to our ability to do the good that brings glory to God. So how do we remain?
- When we surrender our life and accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides and directs us. We choose to obey his direction – or not. When we listen to and allow his Spirit to guide us, we remain in him. Which means we have the knowledge, wisdom, love, and power of Jesus to accomplish the work he sets before us, bear fruit, and bring glory to God.
- Jesus tells us that we bear fruit when his word remains in us. In order for it to remain in us, it has to get into us first. Right? How does that happen?
We have to hear, read, and memorize scripture. Hearing it once a week in a sermon is a good start but by mid-week (or long before) life begins to clutter our brains and we forget. The only way his word will remain in us is through our intentional putting of it into us. This provides knowledge, wisdom, love and power. Sound familiar? (See #1 above.) Then, when we act on what we’ve learned from his word, we bring heaven to earth and glory to God.
How Will You Answer?
The question on the table is, “Does what you produce, the fruit of your actions, have purpose?” I hope so, because it’s sort of like eating your fruits and vegies. For when your produce has purpose it does a body good, brings heaven to earth, and glory to God.
Challenge yourself to:
- Ask for and listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance throughout your day. Are you being called to do something! What need does your community, church, neighbor have that has been presented – or keeps presenting to you? Are you willing to obey?
- Listen to and read scripture this week. Memorize one favorite verse. Ask, “Is God identifying a role or need for me to fill through what I’ve read/heard? If so, accept the opportunity. Set your goal to complete it. Go and bear fruit.
Lord, thank you that in you, my produce has purpose. Please help me to lay down my schedule and pride, listen to and follow your guiding Spirit, learn your word, and fulfill the needs you bring across my path. Your will not mine, Lord. Glory to God. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Listen to Your HeartSong Here!
Christ is Enough/Hillsong Live