By their Fruit

The Gardener had carefully tended and trained the apple tree, but it had started out as such a very sad wee tree, for in transit to the supplier, the trunk had been completely snapped off at about chest height, so the gardener grew it as an espalier, in a fan shape upon the fence, it got tied out to formers, fertilized, sprayed and tenderly cared for, and then it started to respond and it grew.  The very next year the tree put on a strong growth spurt, then came the buds, then the flowers, and then small fruit that swelled and grew in the summer sun.  Harvest time, but something was wrong, so the gardener looked at the label once more, and it read “Royal Gala” but those have lots of red and has some red stripes, and these were just light green, and shaped differently.

Taste test, and it is a sour cooking apple, so Apple Crumble and Rhubarb and Apple on breakfast cereal, and that changed a bad situation into something much better.  A trip to the local Nursery Plant Shop, and home again with another tree, so it was planted right where the old one had been, old dug out by its roots and all, and then cast away, new tree planted, and if you walked past, you would not have noticed, or perceived that the tree had ever been changed.  So how is it with us in our lives?

How so very easy it is for us to become, fake, phony and false, deceivers in that we hide behind our label, purporting to be the genuine thing, looking just like a genuine, genuine in all things, Oh No! Matthew 7:15-21 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” 

Oh how often we try to bluff our way through life and situations, we purport to be just the Genuine Real Deal, when in fact we are just a very cheap “Knock Off” and nothing like the true.  We see people in Church, At Work, in our Clubs and Associations, often strutting their stuff, but they are not Genuine.  An old saying is this; “Empty cans make the most noise,” and it is so often true, they strut about with much long winded “nothing-ness” of lots of words, no understanding and nothing ever really said, just lots of grand oration.  Look at me, and then when looked at, then we see “No Fruit,” or fruit that we certainly do not want, “by their fruits ye shall know them.”  So by what are you and I known by, is what is spoken to our face the same as what is spoken behind our backs?  Are we genuine or are we saying one thing and then doing a complete opposite, maybe when nobody is looking, why are we not more predictably consistent.

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for-ever.”  Christians wear the name “Christ” but we all can so often be just like our Apple Tree, when you look closely, Yes it does bear Apples, but what type of Apples are they?  Oops, not the right sort of Apple, bearing the wrong fruit for what the Label clearly states should be clearly seen.  I guess the other problem is this, yes we do bear fruit, yes it is the correct variety, but there is so few of them, very sparse and not so robust, oft just shriveled misshapen semblances.  We should be fruiting the correct type of fruit and that crop should be lush and in abundance.  Ephesians 3:17-21 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  and to know the love of Christ, which passeth all knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Titus 3:4-7 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  Heaven offers us “Abundantly,” as Ephesians says “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” for the “Sap” of the Holy Spirit is rushing up from the root, Messiah Jesus, and into us, Holy Spirit power, and then the “Fruit of the Spirit” is seen in its beauty and bounty, for we bring forth “Much Fruit,” and it is the “Right Fruit,” for “By their Fruit you will know them, so what fruit are you bearing, and by what quantity?   Genesis 9:7 MSG {Adapted} “You’re here to bear fruit, so produce, lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!”

So how are you and I getting along?  Are we bountiful, or sparing in our crop production?  Is it robust and full fruited, or just sparse and all shriveled up semblances that are only fit for a compost bin?  Does God have to prune us, or up-root us and cast us away?  Genesis 9:7 MSG {Adapted} “You’re here to bear fruit, so produce, lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!”