Future

Sometimes it isn’t difficult to predict the future. The outcomes of tomorrow are often seen in the details of today.
It isn’t difficult to predict that a healthy apple tree will produce apples in season. In fact, we depend on this predictability to produce our economy. In Bible terms, “We reap what we sow.”

Trees and People
Often in the imagery of the Bible people are compared to trees. Psalm 1 says the righteous person would be like a fruitful tree planted by rivers of water. Here, Jesus explains that like a tree is known by its fruit, a person is known by the results of the life he/she chooses to live. Good things in the heart produce good things in life. At the same time, evil in the heart produces evil in life.

A Question from the Lord Jesus
We can hear the pain in the question Jesus asked of those He was teaching,

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

Perhaps He looked to the people in that crowd that day or perhaps He looked down through time to our day. Could it be that Jesus was puzzled by their behavior and by ours? Why would they—why do we?—call Him Lord and refuse to obey Him? It doesn’t make sense. We find a Savior, receive His grace, and then fail to follow through with obedience.

The Visible Future
To illustrate the predictable future, Jesus switched metaphors from people and trees to life and houses. To hear His words and obey them is like a man who builds his house on a deep foundation of solid rock. Storms come and water rises but the house is unmovable. In vivid contrast, the person who ignores the words of Jesus, even while calling Him Lord, builds a house with no foundation at all. The same storms bring this shaky structure down in short order.

Avoiding Ruin
The future is coming for each of us. The choices we make today determine what that future will be. Without Jesus each of us is headed for ruin. There is only one way to avoid that terrible future. Give your heart to Jesus and after you have done that—follow Him! Obey His Word!

The Fruitful Life
Returning to the metaphor of the tree, we see the opportunity before us to build a future that will last forever.

  • Fill your heart with good things!—The Word of God, the Will of God, the Love of God, the Plan of God, the Work of God!
  • Fill your days with good works done in His name!—deeds of mercy, acts of kindness, offerings of worship, words of witness, the Love of God!

The world needs good people. We must bear His name to the lost. We must touch them with His love. We must tell them His story. We will then have a future to enjoy.

Sometimes it isn’t difficult to predict the future. The outcomes of tomorrow are often seen in the details of today.

Scriptures:
Luke: 6:43-49

“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to call You Lord and do the things You say. I want my house to be built on the Rock Christ Jesus and be safe from all storms. I want to fill my heart with Your Word so that the fruit of my life will be good. I want to be a good person in this evil world, a blessing to all who know me. With Your blessing, today I will do the work that will ensure a fine future for me. In Your Name, Lord Jesus, Amen.

Song:
Make Me a Blessing

Words: Ira B. Wilson; Music: George S. Shuler

1. Out in the highways and byways of life,
many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife
making the sorrowing glad.

Refrain:
Make me a blessing, Make me a blessing,
Out of my life May Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.

2 Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love;
Tell of His pow’r to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove
true ev’ry moment you live.

Refrain

3 Give as ’twas given to you in your need;
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed;
Unto your mission be true.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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