June 26, 2017

Continuing Fruit

Revelation 14:6-13

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. . . . They will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.

—  Revelation 14:13

When the bushes in my raspberry patch begin to mature and produce fruit, I try to protect the branches from breaking off. One day, however, I found a broken branch on the ground. And I was amazed to find that the fruit on it was still ripening and sweet.

That broken branch brought today’s verse—and my mother—to mind. For the past few years my mother has been yearning to “go and be with the Lord.” This is understandable, given her increasingly feeble body and fleeting memory. When she does depart this world, she will go on the wings of a promise being fulfilled. Her deeds will follow her.

My mother once said that she and my father used to wish for their children to have a better life (meaning more possessions) than they had. In later years, that wish changed into a prayer that all her children and grandchildren would grow up to love and serve the Lord. As she has witnessed to us, that prayer has been and is still being answered. So, when she goes to be with the Lord, the sweet fruit of her prayers and deeds will continue to ripen and follow her.

All who die in the Lord are firmly in God’s loving embrace through no merit of their own. Yet our actions have impact, and our deeds leave legacies. Do you have a legacy of witness?

Precious Lord, thank you for the guiding light of your promise that our faithful deeds will follow us. For this life and the next, inspire us by your Spirit to remain faithful to Jesus. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Don Byker

Don Byker has been a pastor since 1984 in various churches and institutional settings. Don and his wife, Donna, are the parents of four adult children, two of whom are married. Donna and Don are also the glad grandparents of three granddaughters. Currently Don is serving in a rural church in Michigan full of gardeners.

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