Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A fruit bearing faith (Matthew 22:23)

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:33 (TM)
If you grow a healthy tree, you'll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you'll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.

In the 13th Century, Nicolo Polo (father of Marco Polo) was visiting the court of the grandson of Ghengis Khan - Kublai Khan.

Kublai Khan was the Emperor of China and he had never met Europeans before. He was delighted to meet this visitor from Venice AND he was strongly impressed by the religious faith of this man; therefore, he sent a letter back to Europe urging that some educated men be dispatched to instruct his people in the teachings of Christianity.
But, because of political upheaval and infighting that was taking place in Europe, there was a long delay in anybody coming. In the end, only 2 representatives of Christianity were sent and even they lost heart soon and turned back.
Because of the failure of the church of that day, Kublai Khan turned instead to Buddhism and that has been the predominant religion in the area from that day to this.

In one-way or another we are bearing fruit… some of it good… some of it not so good. There are time when it becomes obvious what kind of fruit is being born and then there are other times we never witness the results of our labors.

Sowing in the morning,
Sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide
And the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest,
And the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing,
Bringing in the sheaves.

Our responsibility is to sow the seeds, plant the healthy trees, to bear witness to the truth that is in us. Our responsibility is to do all that we can under any circumstances so that the results will be healthy fruit. It shouldn’t be necessary to be there for the harvest.

We like results. We want to know. We get impatient when we don’t’ see growth, change, new life… but, as my nephews learned the hard way, don’t pull up the plant to see if something is growing or not. It can be hard to trust the Lord for the outcome, but trust we might. Especially in the area of spiritual development it just might take much longer than we would want or wish.

And, maybe, we just need to slow down and allow people to catch up. The fruit will come … in time … God’s time … at God’s choosing … just plant the seeds of faith and trust. That’s the hardest part.

Help us to have a fruit bearing faith, trusting you for the harvest.

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