The cornerstone of being a child of God is Love. As our fruit defines us, love is one of the core attributes which mark the children of God. While the world also loves, what sets us apart is agape love. The love that we are called to goes far beyond the love of the world; as we are commanded to act on that love. Ours is a demonstrative love. An active love. A longsuffering love. A go beyond love. An unselfish love. A love that does not keep record of wrongs. An unusual love, when exposed to the world. A love that is hard for the world to understand. A love that is from God. That is what makes this love challenging at times. This love naturally opposes our human nature, as the world sees it. The love of the world, is a love that loves because of, and carries stipulations and conditions. We find our strength to execute the love of God in the face of resistance, because we realize the great love that has been granted to us, by God. The love God calls us to, is a love that reflects the perfect love of God- not ourselves. So, when you struggle to love someone who is deemed unlovable, do so in reflection of the love that has been given to you. We must fight the temptation to look inward and evaluate how we feel in those moments, instead we must focus on how it glorifies God. It is then that our fruit begins to define us. Blessings.
On last week we began a discussion that addresses our fruitfulness. As we continue this discussion over the ensuing weeks, I want to preface those future discussions with these thoughts about fruit.
Some fruit is underdeveloped, which is a sure sign it has not received sufficient nourishment. Being void of the word of God causes us to live lives barren of the power of the Holy Spirit, thereby extinguishing our spiritual lights to the world. Jesus called this sad condition “losing your saltiness.”
Other fruit finds itself dying on the vine for lack of exposure to the “son.” We only look like Jesus when we purpose to do so. Failing to walk with ”intentional purpose” will create an intense likeness to the world, but not to the savior, therefore your fruit will be rendered useless.
Still others are lying on the ground “bruised” from the fall from the tree; many struggle from bruising from previous lives in the world. This lasting bruising comes from failure to accept the saving grace of the cross and the declaration by the word of God that we are new creations. We must learn to leave the old baggage in the past and embrace our new identity in Christ. When we successfully do this, then are walking in the power of the cross.
Lastly, is the fruit that gets over-nourished to the extent that it is inedible. This is a sullen reminder that we must be careful in our development, because Satan can enter us with pride and render us useless in caring about the fate of the lost.
As you can see, being fed properly, with sufficient access to the “son” and a healthy awareness of the blessing of grace in our lives balances us in a way that produce in us the heart of Jesus. So as you can see, there are many states in which our fruit can exist, but only one makes us useable to our God. So give this thought, and let it guide your evaluation of your fruit. Healthy fruit is not only edible, but it praises the source, and the tree is loved by its owner for the fruit it produces. Unfortunately, trees who produce poor fruit are ultimately cut down and thrown into the fire. God is counting on your to bear fruit that speaks of his grace and mercy. I pray your fruit is glorifying our heavenly father. Blessings.
If I told you I had a fruit tree that bore 5 different kinds of fruit on the same tree, meaning it had apples on it, pears, peaches, plums, oranges and lemons, would you believe me? Many of you would look on me with piety feeling sorry for my obvious insanity. Others would attempt to believe it, but only after significant physical evidence- and rightly so. Regardless what I told you about this fruit tree, it’s the fruit that provides the truth of what the tree is, and so it is with us. We often talk about who we are in Christ. Many are misguided by who they THINK they are in Christ, but the truth of the matter is; the truth is in the fruit. Jesus said in Matthew 7:16 that we will be known by our fruits. It is interesting that he compares us to a tree, but his point is obvious. How we really are is not predicated on what we say, but what we do and how we act. Jesus goes on to say in verses 17 & 18, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree CANNOT bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. He concludes his statement in verses 19 & 20 reminding us every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. His final statement is the clarifier, by their fruits you WILL know them. Our fruit is important, very important. It is the truth of who we really are. We can hide behind our tree, but we cannot hide from the fruit we bear. In the following weeks are going to engage in fruit inspection. Stay tuned, and be mindful of your fruit. Blessings.
One of the most profound and important statements recorded in scripture from the mouth of David is found in Psalm 119:11 it reads, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Have you ever paused to consider these words? David (a man’s after God’s own heart) discloses his strength against his desire to sin. It’s the word of God hidden in his heart that becomes his protector. The Hebrew writer reminds us the word of God is powerful (Hebrews 4:12), it becomes OUR strength to fight against the temptations that overwhelm our lives, and the sin that so easily entangles us (Hebrew 12:1). So in light of Psalm 119:11 we are going to challenge ourselves to learn 100 scriptures (reference & context) by this time next year. There will not be a quiz. There will not be an exam. This is between you and God. So, allow God to grow you in his word. Before you decide you cannot memorize scripture for whatever reason, give this some thought. Do you believe if you give your best effort to memorizing the word of God, that the Holy Spirit would not intervene as a guide and helper? I believe with all that is in me, that you can count on God. So, let’s all challenge ourselves to internalize the word of God in a way we never have before. There will only be two scriptures a week to memorize. I assure you it is not hard. Challenge yourself, and watch how much you grow in the word. Blessings.