This morning, our pastor (Randy Turner) brought a message from Luke 3. The message had three main points, but one in particular spoke to me: Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father." For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
Dr. Randy asked an all-important question: "What kind of fruit are you producing?" You should be producing fruit of kindness, compassion, and contentment.
When the crowd asked John how they should produce good fruit, John told them to be KIND. John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same." Luke 3:11
When tax collectors asked John how they should produce good fruit, he told them to have COMPASSION. "Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them. Luke 3:13
When soldiers asked John how they should produce good fruit, he told them to be CONTENT with what they had. "Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely - Be content with your pay." Luke 3:14
I am constantly struggling with being overwhelmed by all of the things to which I've said "yes," but Jesus makes it clear to us: We are to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and shelter the homeless.
So when I'm stressed about just how much time Crown Club is taking up, I have to remind myself that I'm teaching 46 young ladies how to be servants of Christ. I am providing them with opportunities to serve others as Jesus has commanded us.
And when I'm stressed about just how much time Junior Auxiliary is taking up, I have to remind myself that I am witnessing to children all across Jones County. And when I provide a meal or some school supplies, I am giving a child hope. And when I dance with special needs kids or help them make a craft, I am giving a child joy.
And when I'm stressed about just how much time directing children's choir is taking up, I have to remind myself that I'm teaching 40 young people how to reflect Christ. I am providing them with opportunities to show their love for Jesus through worship and singing.
And when I'm stressed about just how much time being a teacher AND the drama director is taking up, I have to remind myself that I am giving teenagers an outlet for creativity and acceptance. I am allowing them to not only be who they truly are but to be liked for it. I am providing those kids who do not play sports or play an instrument or enter pageants or cheer on the sidelines a chance to feel important. I am cultivating a love for something that can last a lifetime.
And when I'm stressed about just how hard life is, I have to remind myself that I am blessed beyond measure. God has given me so many blessings and so many reasons to be content. The miracle of life (twice) when I was sure I couldn't have children. The gift of teaching when I did everything in my power to NOT become a teacher. The joy of a marriage that produces so much laughter. The best present I could ever receive: parents who love unconditionally and provide endlessly. A beautiful home. A wonderful family. A circle of friends. A purpose.
So friends... Be kind, have compassion, be content in your own life.