A life pleasing to the Lord…

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fruit-of-the-spirit

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us go on toward perfection…For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.

This passage has a high level of challenge. The writer is warning against those who appear to be fully engaged in the life of the church, yet ultimately fall away. Verses 4-5 make it clear the people he’s referring to are not casual pew-sitters. They have experienced the richness of new life in Christ in all its dimensions. But then, somehow, they reject the faith:

…since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt.

Obviously, the writer is not speaking literally as one cannot crucify Jesus again. He’s already ascended into heaven to be with our heavenly Father. Instead he’s referring to the possibility that former Christians believers have rejected Jesus – just as he was once rejected by Pontius Pilate and crucified in a very public manner.

So, what does this have to do with you and me? Well, I believe this is passage is a challenge of sorts. If you are a Christian, given the amazing blessings of forgiveness and grace you have already received, you are expected to produce “fruit” in your life pleasing to God – which results in blessing from God.

Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.

In another passage from the New Testament we are told that the “fruit of the spirit” (the “crop” of which v.7 speaks) is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control”. (Galatians 5:22-23) A question I’m asking myself this morning:

Am I producing this kind of fruit in my life? Is there strong evidence of things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control?

I’ll be honest, some days are better than others for me. What about you?

Gracious God, you have definitely blessed us in many ways. Despite our sin and shortcomings, you have forgiven our sin and claimed us as your own daughters and sons. Give us grace to manifest a life pleasing to you, exhibiting the fruits of the spirit that bless those around us. We ask this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

One thought on “A life pleasing to the Lord…

  1. Steve

    Definitely a tough passage to hear, considering that many of us have backslidden one or more times during our lifetime and may think we have fallen outside of God’s grace. I do, however, take refuge in the grace found in this passage, as bearing fruit is the sign that during those times or as a result of them, we had/have not reached the point of no return and still have the hand of God in, on and blessing our lives through service to others. Peace to you and everyone.

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