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Healthy Fruit — Part 2
12/21/2016

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1 (NKJV)

Have you ever noticed the difference between vine-ripened tomatoes versus the ones usually purchased in the grocery stores? There is a significant difference in the taste and quality of the tomatoes allowed to ripen to full maturity before getting picked and those that are picked way too early, stacked on pallets in a large room, and for the next three days, gassed with ethylene so they will soften and turn red, and be ready to ship to market. The gassed tomatoes look just like the vine-ripened ones, but they’re never as good. 

I liken this to our attempt to do good works apart from God’s perfect will and timing. We can attempt to do good things in our own strength, in our own ability, and in many cases, in our own timing, but they will always fall short of what God is capable of doing through us in His perfect way and timing—it is an inferior fruit. Jesus gave us a great picture of how we can produce proper fruit, as recorded in the Book of John.

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)

This teaches us the principle of patiently waiting upon the Lord, to read His Word, and to Abide in it and in Him. If we do this, the fruit will follow as a byproduct of our healthy relationship. This is great news, as He does the work through us, while those around us see the fruit of His efforts in and through our lives. Anything more than abiding in the Lord and allowing Him to work through us is simply striving in the flesh—you might even say it’s our version of adding ethylene to the tomatoes.

Besides, I have never passed by a fruit tree and witnessed a piece of fruit striving to become a piece of fruit; it simply hangs on the vine or branch and receives its nourishment until it is ripe. And so it is with our works and/or deeds as Christians; they should never be a manifestation of our striving in the flesh, but simply byproducts of our loving relationship with our Lord and our receiving of what He is blessing us with.

We should also know, our having healthy fruit (good works) is a true sign of a healthy walk and relationship with the Lord. Every good tree bears good fruit, and every bad tree bears bad fruit (Matt. 7:15-20).

Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:20 (NKJV)

If there is very little or no visible fruit coming from our life then there is something wrong and unhealthy going on in our relationship with the Lord. We are called to examine ourselves to see if we are abiding in Him, and to see if our faith is healthy (2 Cor. 13:5). We should regularly do self-examinations to see what type of fruit is coming from our Christian walk, asking ourselves, Is there good or bad fruit coming about from my actions? Is the Lord glorified in what I am doing, or is it dishonoring to Him? Is He the one responsible for my good fruit or am I striving in the flesh to manifest these good works?

STUDY QUESTION: Why should we “abide” in Christ?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you producing “good fruit” as a Christian?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Be faithful to do a self-examination on a regular basis. If you feel there is some inferior or even bad fruit in your life, then seek God in prayer, ask for forgiveness of sins, repent of any lifestyle that you know to be unrighteous, and abide in Him.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for the fruit that you have grown through me. I praise You and give You all of the glory for it. Thank You for reminding me that apart from You I can do nothing. I seek You today, for Your Holy Spirit to be given unto me in abundance. May it cause others to see You in me, and may Your Son be glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000