So That You May Bear Fruit

“You may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…”

Paul wrote to the Christ followers in Colossae that he prayed for this for the people. I know of people who think that this is the end of the sentence. The purpose of life is to be filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Some of these people live as though they have achieved this state and this gives them permission to tell others about how they have not achieved such a state. They either implied or stated boldly that this made them better people.

Do you know people like that? I certainly do. And Jesus met them every day. Back then, they were called Pharisees. And he told many stories about how they were wrong.

How wrong? Well, Paul finishes his sentence, “so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in knowledge of God.”

So that! The end is not wisdom and understanding. These are only the foundation, the means, the tools, for living a life pleasing to God.

And what is a life pleasing to God? Paul tells us. “Bear fruit in every good work” and “grow in knowledge of God.”

What are good works? One story Jesus told was of a man beaten by robbers. Three men passed by him as he lay bleeding. Two were from the higher ranks of Jewish society–they did nothing (and they were listening as Jesus told the story). One was an outcast in the eyes of Jewish society–a Samaritan. The Samaritan took care of the man. That was a good work–as well as a teaching that our neighbor to be helped is whomever we find along the road of life.

Another good work comes from Jesus’ words at the end of the Gospel of Matthew where he tells us to make disciples. Preaching at people does little to no good. Helping them through example, teaching, love, mentoring to be like Jesus is what our work in life is.

What will be your so that today? Will you recognize it?

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