Be Ready, Be Fruitful

from Lynda LIndsey

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Titus 3:1-2

…I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. Titus 3:8(b)

And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14

Seeds are planted with the expectation of reaping a bountiful harvest. Flower, fruit, or vegetable seeds, all are planted with one end in mind: as the plants are tended and nurtured, vibrant, healthy produce will result. Christians, too, are expected to be fruitful, to grow and mature in godly wisdom and understanding, to be productive, useful kingdom citizens. We are to be ready in word, deed, and attitude, to obey God, to submit to those in authority, to be courteous and useful to all, and to be fruitful in good works, helping those in urgent need. 

Helping the needy is multifaceted; in addition to basic needs, food and water, shelter, and medical attention, people hunger for connectedness, for love and acceptance. Man’s most urgent need is salvation, granted by God’s grace and mercy through the washing of regeneration and the Holy Spirit’s renewing work. Paul, enlisting support for fellow missionaries, called on the church to supply their needs, enabling the men to more easily spread the gospel. By helping supply missionaries for service, we, too, become participants in furthering the gospel and growing God’s kingdom. 

Bearing fruit for God’s kingdom is possible only because God has worked His grace in us, transforming and conforming us, making our character more like His. As He works within us, we become more Christ-like…and the world notices a difference. We change; we begin to love what Jesus loves and abhor what displeases Him. This transformation is not our doing; it’s from God, lest we should boast. Be ready. Our world is filled with people, all of whom have urgent physical and spiritual needs. The fields are ripe for the harvest, and we’ve been well supplied for the journey. Go!