Have you ever spent your time running around all day long but at the end of it, you didn't know what you actually accomplished? It's so frustrating when you realize you were busy going from one thing to the next, but you didn't get around to doing anything you intended or needed to do.
It's easy to live this way in our world today with so much going on all the time. But I can't find any verse in the Bible where God commands us or even suggests to us that we be busy. However, Scripture does talk a lot about bearing good fruit in our lives.
There are two ways we bear good fruit. One is by displaying the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). And the second is by getting out in the world where God has planted us and being good to people.
I'm talking about helping people who are hard to love or don't seem to deserve it. Or giving to the poor and getting involved with people so you can make a difference and help make their lives better, rather than spending all of your time trying to make yourself happy.
I've discovered that being selfish and self-centered never makes anyone happy. Living for God is really just the opposite of that. God does want to bless us and give us the things we need, but when we give our lives to Him, our purpose is to serve Him.
In Matthew 12:33b (AMPC), Jesus says, "The tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit." And this is how people know who we are. Just as you recognize an orange tree by the oranges it produces, you recognize a Christian by the fruit of their lifestyle.
The fruit of our lives is seen in our behavior—what we do to help others and our attitudes—as well as what we say. It's the visible expression of the invisible work God is doing in us.
Jesus says in John 15:8 (AMP), "My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples." In other words, we're not proving anything to anyone simply by what we say. It's the fruit of our lives that proves who we really are.
It's good for us to frequently ask ourselves: Who am I helping in my life? How am I making a difference or making someone else's life better?
The key to bearing good fruit is found in John 15:5, which says, "I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union from Me] you can do nothing."
Jesus is telling us that as we spend time with Him in prayer and by studying the Bible, His Spirit is working in us, changing us little by little (see 2 Cor. 3:18), so we'll reflect His image or characteristics more and more. It's a progressive transformation that takes time and requires a consistent commitment throughout our lifetime.
If you aren't spending regular time with Jesus and growing in your relationship with Him through prayer and Bible study, I want to challenge you to reevaluate your priorities and put first things first. The truth is, we put our time into what we really want to do. And if something is truly important to you, you will find time to do it.
God loves you! He wants to have a personal relationship with you so He can do amazing things in you and through you.
Ephesians 3:20 says God "is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us." He has a plan for you, and He will give you everything you need to fulfill your destiny as you seek Him and grow stronger in your faith in Him.
I want to encourage you to focus on Jesus and live by the wisdom He reveals to you in His Word. Choose to do today what you will be happy with later on, and no matter what the cost, you'll find that the good fruit it brings is more satisfying and fulfilling than just being busy, any day of the week!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times' best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Living a Life You Love (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.
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