As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty. -- Matthew 13:23
Francis is the real deal.
Luke 8:15 describes Francis as receiving the word and holding it fast in an honest and good heart. As the simplest of the four characters in Jesus' parable, Francis doesn't fall into the errors of the others. Mind is open to the gospel; heart is set on Jesus and Jesus alone.
Francis is not crippled by serving two masters - everything: every relationship, every possession, every talent, every minute is consciously given to serving God. Francis recognises that God created all of life and both desires and deserves to be honoured in all of life. Francis might be an outgoing, in-your-face evangelist that somehow manages to naturally slip into conversations about God in an average 27.63 seconds from first introductions or might be the kind of person who rarely says much to anyone but displays the transforming power of the gospel and the love of Christ - the type people turn to to share their problems with. Or Francis might be the practical type that drops dinner round to the young couple that spent last night in the hospital and came home parents. Or perhaps the person who invests time in young people showing them by instruction and example what it means to follow Jesus.
But whatever Francis does - whether vocal or silent - is done in the service of God. It is inspired by the recognition of God's grace towards them. It is empowered by God's spirit within them. It's done in the imitation of Jesus.
Francis is open and honest. Humble and loving. Obedient. Francis has the heart of a servant. How? Francis knows what it means to be loved by God.
Jesus. The perfect example of the one whose perfect obedience and love towards God the Father is the basis of all our hope. Talk about that for "bearing much fruit!"
John. The apostle who knew that Jesus loved him. His affections and priorities are simple: he loves Jesus and he loves like Jesus.
- Who do I know who lives like this? When did I last thank God for placing them in my life? How can I learn from them? How can I encourage them?
- What is it that leaves me short of the mark? Where are my ideas and ambitions out of sync with the gospel? What is holding me back from living like this?
Pray that you will fall into the final category. One who bears fruit. One who sees the likeness of Christ reproduced in themselves through following him in the power of the Holy Spirit and in others as you evangelise and make disciples. And pray for your loved ones, that they will too.
Why are you still on your computer when you could be on your knees?