Preserved

Psalm 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You”

It’s that time of the year, when the fruit of the harvest is being processed and jarred for keeping. The making of preserves or as some call it, canning, requires a careful hand in cleaning, preparing, and eventually pressurizing the jars so that they are sealed for a later time to be enjoyed. Placing the prepared food into pressurized cookers helps remove any bacteria that might have been introduced in the process of preparation. Sorting through the fruit, vegetables, or meats is a painstaking process of selecting the produce that is worth keeping. Cleaning, washing, and preparing the food takes time and careful oversight so that nothing is introduced that might ruin the batch. The sealed vacuum at the end of the process leaves an airtight environment, making it less beneficial for anything that shouldn’t be there to grow and ruin the batch. If the process of preparation is not completed in proper order, the jars don’t seal and the growth of bacteria will ruin the batch and leave the preserves corrupted.

Did you know the Lord is preserving you?

God’s process of preservation is spiritual in nature with an eye toward the goal of keeping the spiritual fruit of His labor until the end. We are the fruit of His labor, when we are grafted into His vine, we receive the necessary spiritual life giving nutrients to produce good fruit. The care that God takes for His people requires watering, pruning, and protection against anything that will harm His own.

John 15:4-8 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

We can only produce fruit from the labor that God places in us. We don’t produce fruit in ourselves, by our own power, or independent of God’s investment into us. We have nothing good that indwells our being, for any good to come from us it must be the Spirit of the Lord that indwells and produces good fruit. It is the water of God’s Spirit that continually refreshes us and gives us life, it is the pruning away of past sin that must be removed so that new life can spring forth. As the new growth happens in our lives, the fruit of repentance produces good works that are manifest in and through us to the world….the Lord then receives the glory which is the fruit of His labor.

Everything that is good comes from God. If you want to produce good fruit, you must draw near to Him and allow Him to work through you.

The Harvest

Hebrews 12:11 “For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

God’s discipline is the pruning we see occurring in us. Discipline is not pleasant but is necessary for growth. Everytime we act unrighteously, the Lord disciplines us and brings us back into alignment with His purpose.

Unrighteousness is sin. We are so used to growing wild before He found us that it takes discipline to train us to grow in accordance with His purposes. The more people He grafts into His vine, the more we are trained to grow together. In God’s Kingdom, there is order, purpose, and unity. The more we embrace His plan, the easier it is on us as we move forward into maturity.

What fruit does the Lord produce through His labor?

Galatians 5 shows us the fruit that the Spirit produces in us:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-Control

Vs. 24 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit.”

We can measure our walk with Christ to this list and see if these fruits are being produced in us. If we lack any of these, you can be rest assured that the Lord will continue to prune us until we do produce them. These are the attributes of Christ, He has grafted you into His tree of life and you represent Him to the world. We are meant to produce His fruit, it was His good seed by which He planted us , and it was by His care that we grow. If we hear the Word of God and do not produce this fruit, then there is a problem. If the seed has fallen on the rocky soil of our hard hearts or the cares of this world choke out His Word and make it unprofitable, we will never produce the fruit of righteousness.

Matthew 3:10 “The axe lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

We may try to grow apart from Him but we will never flourish. This is His garden, His world, He has made it and anything that is not part of Him will be cast out. The fires of Hell burn hot with the rotten wood of unrighteousness.

Isaiah 60:21 “Also your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.

Every seed that lands on good soil, produces good fruit, the fruit is then harvested, crushed, and used in His Kingdom.

The Preparation

The children of Israel were a people that God has used to display His glory to the world, even until today we see God using them to accomplish His purpose. The preparation required to make them ready to bear such an honor required a long period of testing and trials, a process that was difficult but necessary for them to be made ready.

We have reaped the fruit of this blessing by the Word of God that was produced through them. A legacy of God’s faithfulness resonates in history through this small nation and they remain today God’s timepiece for events that will unfold in the end.

We can take the lessons from how God worked in them to prepare them by how He works in us today. It is this vine that we have been grafted into, the original vine of God’s people that will carry forth into eternity.

When Israel was in bondage and slavery in Egypt, the Lord sent Joseph to preserve them until their appointed time:

Genesis 45:7 “And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”

Now, we as HIs people who have been grafted into the vine are preserved by Jesus Christ, until our appointed time.

John 10:27-30 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

You see, once you are His, you are His forever. You are the product of His work, HIs love that he has invested into you, no one will ever be able to corrupt.

The Product

Every good work the Lord does, ends in good. Do you want this to be the end of your narrative?

We have to trust Him in the midst of the process, it may not be easy but it is necessary. In the end, you’ll see what He has produced, you will rejoice in the fruit of His labor, and you will be able to partake of the bounty that is only reserved for those in His KIngdom.

1 Peter 1:3-9 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”

We have been given such a great hope, abide in Him, allow Him to do His work in you and you will see the product of all that He has brought forth.

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