Recently I talked with a couple who have faithfully shared friendship and the message of Jesus with their neighbours. While being attracted to the quality of relationship these neighbours see in my friend’s lives, they have rejected invitations to learn more about the source of this life. The lack of response and fruitfulness is discouraging for my friends. I was encouraged by their faithfulness, and saw this as success.
Juliet and I have many fruit trees. Feijoas, pears and persimmons are filling our fruit bowls at present. We water and fertilise our trees, prune them, protect the fruit from pests, and spray our trees 1-2 each year to prevent disease. While these activities influence fruitfulness, they do not create the fruit. Other things outside our control produce fruit including the sun, insects, and the amazing ability of trees to turn nutrients, moisture and energy into fruit.
Growth of the message and kingdom of Jesus in people’s lives is like this. Our part, and so our success, is to faithfully reveal Jesus to people and to encourage those who respond, in partnership with God. God’s part is creating new life and growth in people’s lives.
How do you measure success in following Jesus?
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