Username of the writer: ArticleProf
What a wonder it would be to see an orange fruit growing on an apple tree or a rotten tree bearing good fruit. Essentially, we know an apple tree because it produces apples, and it is highly unlikely for anyone to harvest fruit from a rotten tree because the fruit will also be rotten.
Just as Jesus said, “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruits” ~Luke 6:43-44
Jesus continues to say, “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of the store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks” ~Luke 6:45
Jesus is talking about the human heart and the fruit therein by using a tree and its fruits to help us understand how simple this concept is. I once read the recollection of a young man when he was in second grade and the biology teacher started the class with the statement, ‘you can tell a tree by its fruits. He assumed the teacher was teaching something about natural biology in the lines of talking about the differences between apple trees and pear trees. Even to a 7-year-old, it seemed to be an obvious observation.
The context of this particular scripture was a sharp warning against hypocrites. Jesus was specifically talking about the religious leaders who taught the word of God but their private lives were tainted with sin, and yet they continued to be unrepentant. This helped Jesus’ hearers to discern for themselves those who had leadership roles in the temple as teachers and prophets.
Just like it seems obvious for an orange tree to bear only oranges, so it is that a hardened heart towards God bears lawlessness. It is impossible to confess that God has made a home in our hearts, yet continually lives in sin.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He gives us a helper to teach us His ways and helps us to walk in them. The Holy Spirit helps us to be faithful followers of Jesus and shows us how to walk as Children of Light and the righteousness of God. Without the Holy Spirit, we would still be following the desires of the sinful nature instead of following our Lord and good shepherd, Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us that, “when you follow the desires of the sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God” ~Galatians 5:19-21
These are some of the fruits of a bad tree or a hardened heart against God. It is impossible to Love God, to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and ye bear much fruit. Paul is clear that those who live that kind of life will by no means inherit the kingdom of God.
The Bible continues to say, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!” ~Galatians 5:22-23
This is the kind of fruit we produce when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. This fruit not only keeps us in tune with God, but it is also a blessing to those we interact with. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is a reflection of God’s character. And when we walk in step with the Holy Spirit, that same fruit and character are produced in our lives.
That does not mean that we do not struggle; remember there is a constant battle between the sinful nature and the Spirit. “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting against each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions” ~Galatians 5:17
The important thing is that we have a never-give-up attitude. God promises us in His word that He will never allow for us to be tempted beyond what we can handle and that He will always provide a way of escape for us (1 Corinthians 10:13) Our part is to trust Him and remain connected with Him through studying the scriptures and being devoted to prayer. The more we nourish our relationship with God, the more we will live victorious and fruitful lives.
If you struggle, let him know. Communicate with Him and ask Him to give you the desire for His Word and a yearning for Prayer. I can testify of many times when I have been in wilderness seasons in my life when it felt so dry, and my hunger for fellowship with God was quenched by the worries and anxieties of this world. Yet when I cried out to Him and asked him to give me the hunger and desire to seek Him diligently, He answered EVERY TIME. God withholds nothing good from His Children; all you have to do is ask in the name of Jesus. A relationship with God, where we completely open up to Him even when we’re struggling, is one of the true marks of a child of God.
THE WHEAT AND THE TARES
Jesus told an interesting parable, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat” ~Matthew 13:24-25
The reality is some people have infiltrated our churches and our fellowship as believers. They are singing the same songs of praise we sing while some even preach the gospel, but deep down, they undermine the word of God and do not follow His ways. In the words of Jesus, there are ‘tares’ among us. However, it’s not our job to pluck those people out. Jesus calls us to walk in discernment and wisdom with such people, but it is not our place to judge them.
When one of the farmers asked him, “Shall we pull out the weeds?” the farmer replied, “No, you’ll hurt the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds and burn them and put the wheat in the barn”
Our concern is not who these hypocrites are, rather our part is to walk so closely to Jesus Christ that we will be fruitful Christians, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit and living in the truth.
In many of my articles, I often mention the place of prayer in our lives as believers. This is because, without prayer, we cannot have a relationship with God. It is also impossible to love God and continue living in sin. Jesus tells us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. We cannot do it in our strength, but the Holy Spirit is right there with us to help us to live as children of God. The Holy Spirit also teaches us to pray because, most times, we don’t know what we ought to pray. Lean into Him and develop a relationship with Him and your life will bear witness that God has made a home in your heart.
God loves you so much. He loves everything that makes you uniquely you, and my prayer for you is that you will continually become everything He created you to be. God Bless You
TREE IS KNOWN FOR ITS FRUITS
Username of the writer: ArticleProf