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Patience for fruit-bearing

 I'm working on my sermon for this Sunday (at St. Luke's, Blue Ridge), and it's on the parable of the Sower in Luke 8.  At the end, Jesus says, that the good ground brings for fruit "with patience."  Here's my comment right now:

And lastly, we need the grace of patience.  We need it for lots of reasons, but here it's connected with the bearing of the fruit.  Why?  Well, farmers must be patient, must they not?  It can take months before the work you've put into a crop starts to bear the fruit you desire.  Bearing fruit takes time.  And the changes that God wants to work in our hearts through his word can certainly take time - even a lot of time.  That is why our watching and praying against the devil, the flesh, and the world has to be maintained.  That's why our seeking God's grace for the right heart and the grace of obedience has to be maintained.  It's because the fruit of the Word in our souls takes time.  There are times we wish God would hurry this or that up.  There are times when we are impatient with ourselves.  There are also times when we are impatient with each other.  Friends, this whole fruit-bearing thing takes time and we need to be patient about it - pleading with God and using the means he gives us to keep our hearts plowed up, unobstructed, and moistened with his love and Spirit, so that in God's good time he may be glorified by the fruit we have born in our lives.  


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