One time on a trip with family members in California I saw a sight I will never forget. It was the most beautiful orange tree I had ever seen in my life. It was enormous and striking, hundreds of intensely colored oranges in stark contrast to the dark green foliage, I couldn't take my eyes off of it. As we got closer I saw that the weight of the oranges was pulling down the limbs of the tree some were just a few inches off the ground. This wasn't in a groove it was all by itself and that orange tree that God created really got my attention. I clearly remember it as if it was yesterday and I remember praying, God may my life look to You as this orange tree looks, full of mature fruit, fully pleasing in Your sight. That is still my prayer today.
Gods Word has a great deal to say about fruit; what is the source, what causes immature fruit, we are appointed to bear fruit, we are identified by others through our fruit, and there is even fruit in repentance.
The fruit/works of the flesh; "sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, orgies." Galatians 5:19-20.
The fruit of the Spirit; "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23.
The fruit on "my" orange tree was mature and I'm sure delicious, and no I did not grab one. Fruit that is mature fulfills its purpose, it is consumed and enjoyed by many. In the same way when a believer has mature fruit in their lives, we are fulfilling one of our purposes, namely to bear fruit; which brings glory to the Father, and it is not for ourselves but to bless and nourish others in their walk with Christ Jesus.
In contrast, Jesus told a parable about a sower and some seed, which stands for the Word of God. Some seed fell along the path and was eaten by birds, some fell on a rock and it withered because it had no moisture, some fell on thorns and the thorns choked the growth, some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold. Jesus explained the parable to His disciples and in Luke 8:14 He explains what the thorns represent; "The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity."
Immature fruit is not good for anything, beware of the thorns of this world.
Special note on the seed that fell on good soil, hear what Jesus said in Luke 8:15, "But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the Word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance." The Word was heard, and it is taken inside the person, it becomes part of them, it transforms them and fruit comes, not automatically, not immediately, but in time to those who persevere; maintaining in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement, continue steadfastly.
Appointed to bear fruit. Jesus speaking in John 15:16 said; "You didn't choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name."
The subject of fruit will be continued in Saturday's post. Otherwise today's post would read like a novel! Have a blessed, bountiful, fruitful day!!