Someone defined “time” as simply how you spend your life. As I have been reading the prophets, I have noticed two themes about using our time. First, you can choose to spend your life chasing idols; or you can spend yourself following and obeying God. A person of wisdom looks “down the road” to see where each path leads. Idols (anything that takes the place of God) promise a destination of happiness, but instead arrive at an empty lot of vanity and shame. However, God promises a life of “fruit” for those who pursue Him. In Hosea 14, God challenges His people to return to Him and leave dead idols. He said, “O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols…I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me” (14:8). This is the only place in the Bible where God compares Himself with a tree! We cannot “manufacture fruit” on our own, but we get to enjoy delicious fruit by simply receiving from the tree. The Lord teaches us that lasting fruit, all of which is truly good, comes only from Him. Jesus spoke something similar by saying, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit” (John 15:5). Sometimes we get discouraged, thinking we’re not bearing much. However, let’s resolve to seek the Lord Himself—living in Him, abiding in Him, obeying Him. As we follow Him and love others, fruit happens! Think of how God has blessed you with salvation, His Holy Spirit, the fellowship of His people, and multitudes of other blessings. At the end of life, your greatest joy will occur on that day when you “present” to God the fruit He has grown through you.
Pastor Mark Boucher