“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
I am not a farmer, but I come from a farming family. You probably have someone in your family who is a farmer or has that green thumb gardening gene. Maybe it’s you?
I don’t know how to make a good tree or a bad tree, but even this citified non-gardener knows a tree needs water, sunshine, and soil to grow. I know that the ficus tree in my front yard will never look like the orange tree in my backyard or vice versa.
But how do I know the difference between my orange tree and my ficus?
It’s the fruit! My orange tree produces oranges because it is hard-wired by God to produce oranges. My ficus tree just produces shade. (While shade is not edible, it should not be discounted in our Arizona summers.) Nothing I could do would ever cause my ficus tree to produce oranges. It is the orange tree’s gift to the world to bear oranges.
Like the trees, God wants all of us to bear fruit. And, like the trees, we are also hard-wired to produce a particular fruit.
Galatians 5:22 says: “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
So just like the tree needs certain elements to grow, so do we.
For us to produce our fruit, we need to grow. Our fruit won’t appear until we have a level of maturity that primes us to bloom.
What do we need to produce fruit?
- We may need to pursue education and on-the-job training.
- We may need to find a mentor.
- We may need to forgive.
- We may need to trust. Again.
- We may need to flee toxic environments.
We need God to be our gardener. The way we interact with Him and allow Him to tend to us determines the quality of our fruit.
Thought for the day: John 15:1-2 says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” If you are in a pruning season, you may feel cut off or exposed. That was the bad fruit… for you. Rest assured that God has a plan for the good fruit you will bear in His timing. He has already set up people who need your gift to the world. It may not be today because you are still growing. Keep growing until it is your season.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, sometimes we forget that You are the Gardener, not us. We pray that we grow strong branches from the vine of Jesus. We ask for more of Your love so our fruit—our gift to the world—is heavy on Your love. And may the world outside the kingdom of God see a glimpse of your love in our good fruit. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.