[Laura Lindblom attends Shiloh Free Lutheran Church in Summerset, South Dakota and is this week’s guest contributor.]
Blessed is the man… [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
What a glorious word image. Picture the tree–in a sheltered place near a stream, this tree thrives. It might not be a particularly beautiful tree. Branches might be broken, it might be gnarled and wizened, the trunk twisted by the storms of life. But its roots are sunk deep into fertile, well-watered ground, and the tree can drink its fill of the life-giving water. It withstands the frosts of winter. Green leaves bud out in the spring and fragrant blossoms adorn the boughs. It is green through the heat of the summer, and the branches, twisted though they may be, bear fruit at harvest. Good fruit. Bountiful fruit.
It is painfully easy to fall into the world’s way of thinking about fruit–the good job, the attractive spouse, the perfect family, the nice car, some of which can be the result of wise decisions, or common sense, or even a solid moral compass. But this isn’t the kind of fruit to which the Bible is referring. Believers worldwide and throughout history have lived lives in abject poverty and suffered terribly because of their faith.
Clearly the Bible is talking about a different kind of fruitfulness.
The fruitfulness is of a heart that delights in Christ. A heart that yearns for greater holiness. A heart saturated with God’s Word. A heart being sanctified and renewed by the Holy Spirit at work within. The fruitfulness is of a life lived to the Glory of God with Eternity in focus.
That is the fruitful life.