30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
I’m from the Midwest originally. Ohio , specifically. It wasn’t unusual when I was a kid to see abandoned orchards when we drove around the rural parts of the state. Old fruit orchards, usually apples, could be spotted easily among the other forest trees or in overgrown fields. The fruit trees, despite their gnarled forms and vine coverings would all be in a row. Their branches would be about the same length, showing that they had spent years being carefully pruned. Yet, there they would be, broken, bowed, with some limbs on the ground. What was most remarkable was that they would rarely have fruit. Oh, there would be the errant apple or two, but they would be small, sour, unfit for consumption.
I was reading the above passage in Proverbs and the image of those fruitless fruit trees came to mind. They had been abandoned for whatever reason and without the meticulous care they received when they were part of an orchard, they stopped doing what they were designed to do…namely produce good fruit.
Dear ones, we are known by our fruit. The work we do produces the fruit we’re known by. No, salvation isn’t earned by works, but fruit is. Like those trees, we only produce our best fruit when we’re tended by the Master Gardener. We can expect to be pruned, cut back, propped and prodded, but all with the aim of producing our best fruit. It’s not a big deal when a weed or misplaced seed shows up in our garden as long as we realize that Our Gardener will remove it. Well, as long as we let Him.
Those trees had no say in their tending or their abandonment. They were at the mercy of the orchard master. We are not trees. We have a choice as to whether we will submit to our Master’s pruning or not. Even though we confess Him as Lord, we still have to choose daily to submit to His will through obedience, study and worship. How's your fruit? Would you want to consume it? Would you be joyful to bring it before The Master?
Have you been called to a work? Have you been called to be still, but you’re still moving? Have you been called to prayer, but you’re too busy? Have you been called to worship? Have you been called to salvation?
The time to answer your calling is now. The time to move forward in what you have been designed to do is now. The time for salvation is now, not tomorrow. Not next year. Not when you work things out. The time is now.
It is my prayer that you chose the path of wisdom The Holy Spirit outlined through the author's proverb. Choose to be alive and working in your calling and not a weed-choked field of missed potential and ill-spent time.
It is a season of celebration at Fellowship. We are rejoicing in the 4 years behind us as a ministry and excited about the centuries in front of us as we move into our fifth year. Please make plans to share this time on Sunday, November 20th during our regular morning service at 11:30 AM and at a special service at 3:00 PM. We are redeeming the time and would love the honor of redeeming it with you. We are open, you are welcome.
Or, do you have the time?
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Evg. Stephanie Robinson
Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. The church website is www.fcchosengeneration.com. Feel free to share this message. For questions or to subscribe, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can reach the church at email@example.com.
Where Passions Become Reality
Because you are a CHOSEN GENERATION!
455 Hwy 138, Ste C
Jonesboro, GA 30238
Alton Watkins, Pastor