Maybe you have been asked this question, ‘If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?’ For me, it would probably be grapes. I don’t eat them every day, but it is one food that I never seem to grow tired of. I would say that of most good, fresh fruit. This past week, the black raspberry bushes that grow along the ditch and our yard started producing ripe fruit. I walk down there most every day with two eager helpers and can pick almost a ½ gallon of yummy berries. If you want some, let me know. We are also promoting a fruit sale for fresh peaches if you are interested. We are surrounded by a variety of fruit each day. Is most of the fruit in your life good or bad?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Would you eat any fruit that did not appear perfect? What if it was starting to get too ripe, or had a few spots on it, or maybe just a little oddly shaped? Most of us would discard these for the best looking examples. I have tested the limits of how ripe a banana can be to still be edible, otherwise it may make for good banana bread. One of two apple trees in my yard produces small, greenish-yellow apples of the mushy variety. I do not like them and they are barely edible when they are at their best, and I am truly tempted to cut the whole tree down. I will likely trim it way back to see what happens. Do we do the same with people in our lives? If the fruit they produce looks bad, do we not give them a second glance, or try to avoid them altogether?
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:15-20
If someone were to look at your life and judge your fruit, how would they describe it? Maybe it is not easy to categorize, as with a stop at the produce isle, you can find an assortment of quality. You may be able to find examples of good fruit and not so good as well. Even just in the words that you say, if like me, you can be encouraging someone one minute, and condemning someone, or even yourself the next. We may never get it perfect, but there should definitely be a dominant, good fruit when your heart and mind are in tune with the Lord. We are all imperfect, and can be thankful for forgiveness, but the condition of our hearts definitely motivates our words and actions. I find this definitely the case in my own life. What branches in your life need trimming?
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18
We make judgements and decisions every day. When you look at the fruit that is produced in your own life, or the lives of others, you can definitely get a look into their heart and soul of that person. Even if you are discouraged by what you see, there is hope that they can change. You may even know some who have come to Christ or even changed their lives seemingly overnight. Even with a child, they definitely have a bent toward certain things, but how they use their strengths and abilities can definitely transform them or others. With Christ, most anything is possible, even for you and me.
So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10
Yours in Christ,