Colossians 1:10 “ . . . so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God . . .”
A holistic perspective of a person’s life reveals many things. Accomplishments, failures, and growth stand out in full color against the backdrop of time. Most people hope the final portrait of their life will show memorable contributions to this world. Yet so much depends on circumstances beyond one’s control and on decisions made in the face of these circumstances. However, the lives of God’s obedient children are guaranteed to make a lasting, positive impact on the world. The Holy Spirit is the active Agent in such an impact, and the writer to the Colossians calls this impact “fruit.”
Destiny and Power
I enjoy a good biography. Reading about the lives of men and women who have accomplished great things is so inspiring. Recently I finished the book Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, by Jon Meacham. The author points out that world leaders desire to impact history in a positive way. Yet so much depends on the circumstances at hand and how the public responds to the actions taken. These circumstances typically color our memory of the office holder.
As God’s children it is natural that we also want to make a positive impact on the world, no matter how big or small our sphere of influence. The Holy Spirit puts a desire in our hearts to love others as Christ loved us. This awakens a longing to share God’s truth that changes lives. But often we become discouraged as we wonder if our lives are making a difference.
Bearing Fruit for Eternity
Paul the Apostle wrote a letter to the Colossian church. He was thankful for all the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who loved others so well. He assured them that the gospel message they had received was increasing and bearing much fruit within the world as it was within their own hearts. He prayed a beautiful prayer asking God to fill them with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that they would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in all respects and bearing fruit in every good work. The ability to make a difference in the world comes from God’s strength and not our own.
It’s easy to look back over history and judge the impact of great men and women of any era, their accomplishments and their legacies. But often a Christian’s life isn’t as clear or grand at first glance. Someday, though, when we get to heaven, we will have the perfect perspective on how God answered prayer and added our own legacy to the great portrait of the spread of the gospel story.
Making an Eternal Impact
So let’s pray with Paul that through God’s power we will walk in a worthy manner, please the Lord in all respects, and bear fruit in every good work. Then, despite unforeseeable events and circumstances, we can be assured our destiny will make an eternal impact.