Nice grapevine, isn’t it? It’s bearing a great deal of fruit. That’s what a follower of Jesus is supposed to do, according to the Bible. Go back a few days on this blog, to “The Third Part” of 2 Peter 1:5. The acquisition of knowledge can become a comfortable place to stay. I got to thinking about that while writing yesterday’s blog. It is good to study, but getting bogged down in study keeps us from bearing fruit.
When we accept Jesus as our savior, we accept His descriptions of what we are to become. One is:
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5 KJV)
Jesus uses spiritual growth and fruit in a parable He gave to the crowd and explained to His disciples in Matthew 13:1-23, which ends with bearing fruit:
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23 KJV)
Hear God’s word. Understand it – and bear fruit. Now that we’ve got that part down pat, what is the fruit? You may be surprised to find it pretty much matches the eight parts we studied:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)
Pretty good fruit, isn’t it? Since we’ve given our lives to God . . . What? You didn’t get that part?
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV)
That’s why there’s a list preceding Galatians 5:22-23. We are not always bearing fruit. It really doesn’t come naturally, as any farmer can tell you. It takes work. Preparing, seeding, watering, weeding and sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes the ground is hard as stone:
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (Matthew 13:20-21 KJV)
Branches get pruned and trained by the master gardener. We were given an example about what happened to the fruitless:
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! (Matthew 21:18-20 KJV)
Take a look at a Bonsai. Even with small roots, careful pruning and care can make even a small tree fruitful. Spend time with the Lord who created Eden and can make each of us fruitful through His grace.