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The Labors of Our Hands
11/3 Reading Portions: 2 Kings 16; Titus 2; Hosea 9; Psalm 126-128
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Psalm 128:2
Our labors in the Lord Jesus Christ produce fruit unto righteousness. Our reading today in Titus tells us,
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. Titus 2:11-12
A change in our behavior when once we are saved is not the fruit of our labors. Godly behavior is the result of God’s grace. Our behavior would be more akin to the blossoms upon the tree from which the fruit appears. Fruit is consumed by others; and in our verse today, our fruit is also consumed and enjoyed by ourselves. Fruit is pleasing to the taste. Fruit nourishes us. Fruit satisfies our hunger for righteousness. What is the fruit of the labor of our hands?
As the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ is the permanent abiding of the Holy Spirit (John 14:17), the Spirit’s fruit “is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). God’s fruit, therefore, is the fruit visible, viable, and verifiable in our lives; fruit we ourselves can enjoy, fruit by which to be nourished, fruit with which to be filled and satisfied, and fruit to offer others. When the Spirit produces fruit, as we labor since we abide in Christ (John 15:5), the fruit of love extended by our lives is the love of God (for God is love—1 Jn 4:8). The fruit of joy exhibited by our lives is the fullness of joy given us by our Lord and Savior. As we bear the fruit of peace in our lives, we are called peacemakers. And so on….
When we are strengthened by God’s eternal fruit, the fruit of the Spirit offered to others by our witness of the gospel is powerful indeed. Others, therefore, may “taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psa 34:8).
The gospel fruit which we produce,
When we toil in the Lord,
Is from the Spirit and He’ll use
It to fulfill His Word.
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