The Messiness of Fruit
Penned by:††††††††††††††††† Kevin K OíConnor
Dates penned:†††††††††††† July 29, 2017
Thought:†††††††††††††††††††† To examine the contrast between being fruitful or just being showy
I heard an old saying once that goes something like this ďA barn that isnít dirty means that there isnít any work getting done.Ē And, in contrast, while having a home that is clean and desirable is a beautiful thing, have you ever been in a home that was so immaculate that you were afraid to even be there due to thinking that just by your presence you could be messing it up? †And, while fruit can be messy and unattractive, it in the lives of those that confess Jesus as Lord, truly is what brings the Father, Glory, Honor and Praise. So, while being immaculate (Definition of immaculate from; https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/immaculate is 1: having no stain or blemish : pure an immaculate heart) is quite a beautiful and desirable trait, just being so can make the guest of such a place uncomfortable.
And, sometimes while even trees may take pride in being a tree without the messiness of fruit to bother with, that fact is quite displeasing to our Lord & King as noted here; Mat 21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. Mat 21:19 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. He, in the same way, feels that way concerning those that confess Him as Lord of their lives as noted here; Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. Joh 15:5 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. Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
So, while the tree was given life freely without having earned it, its purpose was to Ďbear fruití after having been given life freely which it hadnít earned BUT, it needed to earn the fact that it had been given life freely in the first place without any effort on its part. In the same way, our Lord tends to make it clear that those in Him are there as a gift without having Ďearnedí their salvation as shared here; Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. And while noting that fact is awesome and wonderful, thereís more to that gift than most take note of for if we keep reading we find out why that gift is given in the first place as noted here in the very next verse; Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The gift of life is free without ANY effort on our part but only to receive it. BUT, the keeping of that life is NOT free! For therein is the labor of the vines that exist in the Vine of our Lord & King to bear fruit and NOT to just exist to Ďlookí pretty. The ONLY ones that I know of with the mental faculties to accept Jesus as Lord before they breathe their last breath that donít need to bear any fruit are those who canít because they are on their way out of this existence (on their death beds as the thief on the cross next to Jesus). All others that have the mental faculties to accept Jesus AND the means to walk in obedience to reflect His attributes (His fruit) need to do so or are in danger of dying on the Vine as noted in Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. BUT, that is one Truth that our Lord so clearly annotates in His Word that is seldom preached from those who earnestly desire the financial gifts of those who give to them to bring them the Word of the Lord each and every Sunday morning.
And, hereís another instance, besides the fig tree that our Lord had cursed due to being unfruitful, where there are those delighting in the fact that they were given Life freely BUT hadnít realized the REASON they were given that Life freely; Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: So, just like that fig tree that may have been standing there all tall and full of leaves and life showing its pride of existence which was FREELY given to it BUT had sadly not realized WHY it was given life, to bear fruit! In the same way, those in Rev 3:17-21 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Oh how I love a full coarse meal where the body feels like that Iíve given it NOT just what tastes good but what IS good for it. For those called to give His Word to His sheep, to be given ONLY that which tastes good (eternal life is FREE and NOT earned) is awesome and wonderful BUT to not share WHY it was and is given (to bear fruit) God will hold them accountable. 1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Oh how the church needs those who will preach the WHOLE Word of God and not ONLY that which tastes good! How Godís heart must ache for the millions of souls being birthed into the Vine of His Son, only to see them die on the vine due to NOT being given a whole and balanced diet of His Word! Sugar is sweet, but a sugar diet alone will kill those not also being fed that which is good for them and not just tastes good.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the beauty of obedience to Your Word that produces a life full of fruit to Your Glory, Honor, and Praise! Ever teach us to listen Ďintentlyí to not ONLY what sounds good to us, but ALSO to what is good for us. For itís in the Eternal, Glorious Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
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