A Productive Life
“A man planted a vineyard . . .” Mark 12:1
Many people can put up a good front. They don’t have the frazzled look of someone in trouble, but scratch the surface and there’s trouble. They describe themselves as “being at loose ends,” or “missing something inside,” or “feeling unhappy for no reason.” While they are aware they lead lives of privilege, they find little pleasure in their fortunate circumstances. They lack enthusiasm. So blessed, but so blind to the blessings. They have so much and feel so empty.
Jesus fills Isaiah’s parable with fresh new depth and meaning to awaken us to the privilege and responsibility He’s given us.
The vineyard was planted in a well-cultivated place on a fruitful hill. It was protected, it had a winepress for the harvesting of fruit and a tower to guard against foes. Every advantage had been granted to ensure success. We are freed from sin, a chosen people designed to know God personally. His spirit, written on our hearts, taught us to worship God and given the task of representing Him on the earth, all while being protected by the mercy of God.
The vine dressers are free to their own initiative to work the vineyard. The only condition was that God required fruit from the garden. The freedom is ours. It’s real freedom. Life can be mastery or mistake. We are free to live out the best or the worst of what’s inside of us. We can double our talent or bury it. We are free to live a productive life, or turn it into a life of chaos and weeds.
Our freedom comes with responsibility. There is a rightful demand on the fruit of the vineyard. The point is easy to see. God expects to find the fruit of His character in our life. When we become distracted with earthly pursuits, Jesus snaps us back into focus saying, “What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?”
Jesus called His disciples away from a wasting life to a life of following Him. God expects our life to produce life that looks like Him.
Are you living faithfully for Jesus?