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Harvest Time

by Ron Bartanen

bartenen3 As we have recently seen men and equipment in the fields, bringing in the fall harvest, we are reminded of Genesis 1:11, where God decreed: “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself.”

Next week, as a nation, we will be observing Thanksgiving, a national holiday in which we should pause as a people to give thanks to our Creator who has provided us with a harvest of the fruit of the earth.  Indeed, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights….” (James 1:17).  There is another type of fruit with which our heavenly Father wishes to bless us.  It is a fruit that is not harvested from the soil of the world, but from heaven.  God very much desires to see this fruit in the heart and soul of every member of the human family—a spiritual fruit.  To Jesus’ disciples, He said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit::so shall ye be my disciples” John 15:8).  Jesus spoke of some who, in their lives, would bear “good fruit,” while others “evil fruit” (Matthew 7:17).

In our materialistic world, we are too much like ancient Israel, of whom it was said, “Israel is an empty vine: he bringeth forth fruit unto himself” (Hosea 10:1).    We are thus reminded of the futility of lives that are absorbed only with the fleeting possessions and pleasures of life, with little or no thought of spiritual enrichment.  One who would seek to live his life without God is seen as an “empty vine.”  It is in such lives that sin finds fertile soil.  John the baptizer, preparing God’s people for the reception of the Christ, pleaded, “Bring forth fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

A harvest can never be a reality without the planting of the proper seed.  We are informed that “the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).  It is that seed, planted in the God-seeker’s heart, that will bring forth fruit.  Paul would remind us: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans10:17).  Through faith, and obedience to that word, one is “born again” (John 3:3, 5)—“not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible: by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Peter 1:23).  That living word, planted in the obedient sincere heart, will bring in a fruitful harvest.  Paul defined such fruit: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23).  Such are the blessings God wills to bring to harvest in the lives of all who will commit themselves to Him through Christ.   What is the fruit in your life?


Ron Bartanen lives in Sullivan, IL and preaches for the Arthur Church of Christ

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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10