Best of Daily Reflections: Living a Fruitful LifeDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”
The Parable of the Sower, sometimes called the Parable of the Soils, is one of the most familiar in the Gospels. In this parable, a farmer sows seeds broadly, scattering them on the footpath and the rocks, among the thorns and on fertile soil. Of course, only the seed that fell on fertile soil produces a bountiful harvest. Jesus explained the meaning of this parable in terms of the variety of soils. Each kind of soil represents people who respond differently to God’s word. The “fertile soil” folks are those with good hearts “who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest” (8:15).
Today, I am struck by an assumption Jesus made in telling this parable. It’s obvious, but easily missed. The assumption is this: We are meant to live fruitful lives. Jesus assumes that our purpose in life is not just to get along, not just to survive. Rather, we are to bear fruit, and plenty of it.
Jesus’ assumption goes back to the very creation of man and woman. There, human beings were made by God in God’s own image so that we might “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). Though sin compromises our ability to live the life God intended for us, through Christ, God gives us a fresh start. Thus we read in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” To use the imagery of Luke 8, we have been recreated through Christ so that we might live fruitful lives.
In next Monday’s reflection, I want to consider how we might do this. But today I want to leave you with the encouragement to examine your life prayerfully. Think about how you are living. Ask the Lord for guidance and clarity. You might even want to take time to jot down your thoughts in a journal or share them with a trusted Christian friend. So, in light of the fact that you have been created and recreated in Christ for fruitful living, consider the following questions.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are you living a fruitful life? As you think about your life, are you accomplishing that for which you have been created? Are you making a difference for the Lord in your daily work? in your family? among your friends? in your community? in your church? Are you satisfied with the fruitfulness of your life, or do you feel a deep longing to make a difference in other ways?
PRAYER: Gracious God, thank you for creating me to be fruitful. What an extraordinary privilege and calling to live my life as your steward, using all the gifts and opportunities and resources you have entrusted to me for good. Moreover, I thank you for creating me anew in Christ, so that I might do the good things you have prepared for me. What an amazing adventure this is!
Help me, I pray, to take an honest look at my life. By your Spirit, show me what I need to see. Am I living fruitfully? Am I bringing forth a great harvest for you? Am I doing that for which I have been created and called?
O Lord, show me the truth about my life, so that I might live fully and fruitfully for you. Amen.