“And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” ~ Galatians 6:9-10 (NASB)
We are being blessed with the gift of a painter this morning. (Hooray!) So my new living room is boxed back up, with a tower of furniture and other assorted items piled high in the center of the room (our young cat is thrilled!). I managed to snatch my older NAS Bible this morning from the mess that is my desk, and when I cracked it open, I found these notes written in the margins of Galatians 6: abide in the vine (wait in the Lord). So I did a little digging into a few of the Greek roots for these two verses. And here is what I found.
The Greek word translated here as “lose heart” is ekkakeō, meaning “utterly spiritless, to be wearied out, exhausted”. “Due time” in verse 9 is “season” in the KJV, and the Greek word is kairos, defined as “due measure, opportune or seasonable time, the right time, a limited period of time”. Interestingly, this same Greek word is used in verse 10 and translated as “opportunity”.
And finally, one more word of note here in the Greek, eklyō, meaning “loose, unloose, set free, weaken, have one’s strength relaxed, enfeebled through exhaustion, be tired out”. That is the word for the phrase “grow weary” in the NASB, “faint” in the KJV.
Paul is exhorting the Galatian Christians to not lose spirit (especially THE Spirit), become exhausted or weakened, or be loosened from their source of power. Abide in the vine.
Jesus told His disciples to ” ‘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.’ ” ~ John 15:4-5 (NKJV)
What happens when I become “loose” in my walk with the Lord, when I pull away from the vine, when I am trusting in my own strength, my own circumstances and not in God? I become exhausted and spiritless, unable to be of any good to myself, let alone to others around me. I do not bear fruit.
What happens when I abide in the vine and wait in the Lord? When I am strengthened by His Spirit, I am able to make use of the opportunities that come my way, to “do good to all men”. I bear much fruit!
How appropriate that the same word is translated as “season, due time, opportunity”. For those moments to do good, like the season to plant or to reap, are fleeting. And if I am not already abiding in the vine and waiting in the Lord, I will be found “utterly spiritless, grow weary, and be tired out”. And that opportunity to bless someone is forever gone.
My prayer is that I would abide in the vine and wait in the Lord, always! I want to make use of every opportunity, of every season, “to do good to all men”. I want to bear much fruit! 🙂