“Nurture and cultivate a life that shows forth the righteousness of God.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 29, 2021
The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit. Psalm 92:12-14
In the book of Genesis we encounter God’s original plan for humanity. He lays out with utmost clarity the purpose and vocation of women and men within his created order. “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) One way to tell the story of creation, the fall, and redemption is through this lens of fruitfulness and flourishing.
In humanity’s rebellion against God and his plan for us, we exchanged the flourishing life of perfect union with God for a life of toil, sorrow, and heartache. Therefore, when Jesus says, “I have come that you might have life” (John 10:10), he is restoring and calling us once again to that original vision of a fruitful and flourishing life.
To bear fruit is to be filled with life and have it overflow into new life. Throughout the Bible God promises impossible things and then fulfills them in remarkable ways. For example, he tells Abraham as an old man (St. Paul says in Romans 4:19 “he was as good as dead!”) that he will be the father of many nations. Abraham is a picture of the fruitful life that God gives, taking that which is dead and restoring it to life. He is a signpost of the healing that God offers to the whole of creation.
For some of us, either through singleness or biological inability, bearing children has not been a part of our story. This, however, does not mean that your life is unable to show forth the flourishing and fruitful vocation given to each of us by God! There are countless ways that you and I can nurture and cultivate a life that shows forth the righteousness of God. The life of his Kingdom can break through in our self-giving love for our friends and family. It is shown in simple acts of kindness and care for others. It is seen when we endure seasons of trial and pain with grace, joy, and patience. The list could go on and on.
Whatever your life looks like, whatever season you find yourself in today, you are called to the flourishing life of God’s Kingdom. Like Abraham, in your own way you are meant to be a signpost pointing to the promises of God. As the Psalmist reminds us, may we live this life faithfully to the very end, so that even in our old age we continue to bear much fruit.
Father, show me afresh how my life can reveal to the world the flourishing and fruitful life that you desire for the whole of your creation. Amen.
What does “bearing fruit” look like in your life this week?
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