Several years ago, my wife and I lived in the great state of Colorado, Grand Junction Colorado to be specific. Back then we were just starting our lives together so we had very little money. That didn’t bother us, though, because we had each other.
After looking for what seemed like a very long time, we found a tiny little house to rent in an old neighborhood filled with cherry trees. Our house had its own grove and the harvest was plenty. We made cherry pies, cherry cobbler, cherry tarts, cherry jam and cherry juice. We even got around to eating several hundred right off the trees. Our cherry bounty brought us a lot of joy and we remember back on those days very fondly.
Had these trees been barren, our time there wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable. It was the fruits that made our time there noteworthy. It was the trees providing their abundance that helped our tiny house become a home.
There is another kind of fruitfulness that also works in human hearts and this kind of fruitfulness finds its origin in God. By His Spirit He sends the fruitful attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that work joy into the hearts of both those bearing the fruits and those receiving them.
Jesus said in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you.” Just as the cherry tree was planted to bear its fruit and to provide a harvest, so were we as God’s children created to provide a harvest of spiritual fruitfulness towards our fellowman.
In our works, the fruits we bear will be found. If our works are self-serving, so will our spiritual fruits be. If our works are done for the benefit of all mankind, so will they provide spiritual nourishment for a starving world. 2 Peter 1:3-9 gives us a blueprint:
“His (Jesus’) divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”
Godly fruitfulness can be defined as those things that mimic the attributes of God. They are attributes that were found in their fullness within His only Son who always put others before Himself. They are attributes that guide us through our lives in a place where the curse of sin has made our journey more difficult.
Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the Word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1-5).
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Let the savior help you to grow and produce and allow the Father to prune when needed. Your fruitfulness will define you. Choose to bring fruit that brings joy to life. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing Your Son to show us the way to true and lasting fruitfulness. Help us to represent You though the fruits we bear and lead us from the disease of sin so that our fruits remain untarnished. Amen.