6 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

2 Kings 10:32–12:21
Acts 18:1-22
Psalm 145:1-21
Proverbs 18:1

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Acts 18:5-6 (CSB): “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself to preaching the word and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah. When they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his clothes and told them, ‘Your blood is on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.'”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

I believe that one of the many misunderstandings and misinterpretations within the Christian community is in regard to faithfulness.

We want to hear Jesus tell us: “Well done, good and faithful servant (slave)…” Yet, we come away from those words thinking that all Jesus really requires of us is faithfulness.

If we just keep on keeping on, Jesus will commend us.

This mindset is horribly flawed. Jesus does not simply want us to be faithful. He also wants us to be fruitful. The parables of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and Minas (Luke 19:11-27) are just two instances that reveal that Jesus expects us to accomplish things for the Kingdom in this life.

In fact, we innately know that faithfulness is of little worth unless there is also fruitfulness.

Imagine that you were talking to a farmer. Imagine that he told you that he had faithfully been working his fields for 10 years … but he hadn’t managed to grow a single crop yet. He had been faithful but not fruitful. Wouldn’t you question his sanity?

If faithfulness isn’t producing fruitfulness, we need to do an assessment to determine if something is horribly wrong. We need to assess whether we need to make some adjustments so that we can become more fruitful.

This is what we see in the verses that I have chosen as Today’s Bible Verses. The Apostle Paul had faithfully been proclaiming God’s Word to the Jews. He had been faithful but he was getting so much flack from the leaders that it was undermining his fruitfulness. So, he moved on to a more fruitful opportunity.

Acts 18:5-6 (CSB): “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself to preaching the word and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah. When they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his clothes and told them, ‘Your blood is on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.'”

Paul could have certainly remained in his ministry to the Jews. Someone needed to continue proclaiming the truths of the Gospel to them. But, Paul made the determination that he wasn’t being fruitful enough … so he moved on.

We see this principle also show up in Jesus’ words as well.

Matthew 10:14 (CSB): “If anyone does not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town.”

Simply put, Jesus said that when His followers when into a city, they were to proclaim the Good News. If the people listened and responded, the disciples were to stay. But, if the people didn’t listen and respond, they were to leave.

It’s not just faithfulness. It’s fruitfulness.

We see this exact principle applied in Acts 13 when Paul was doing ministry in Antioch of Pisidia.

Acts 13:48-52 (CSB): “When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and honored the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed. The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the prominent God-fearing women and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district. But Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”

Conclusion

Friend, God has called us to be busy. We are to serve Him and others. We are to share the Good News. We are to be engaged in ministry and missions.

But, some things that we are involved in may have outlived their effectiveness. We may have engaged in a ministry years ago and it was thriving. Yet we observe today that it isn’t going too well. We are remaining faithful … but we aren’t being fruitful.

Just realize that God isn’t really impressed with your faithfulness unless you are also being fruitful. We only have one life to live. Make it count. We are going to stand before the King of kings one day and be judged. Let’s live in such a way that we will hear Him celebrate our faithfulness, recognizing that our faithfulness was blessed with fruitfulness.

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