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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Fruit Bearing Plants

 Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

Yesterday afternoon, I took a walk near my sister’s house in Washington. Along the path I saw a bush full of blue berries. They looked just like blueberries, but I knew they were not edible because the bush had prickly leaves. It reminded me of the tomato weeds we get at the property in Richmond. The tomatoes look like small cherry tomatoes, but the plants have thorns and they too are not edible. I started meditating on what I had encountered and God laid this thought on my heart. What kind of fruit am I bearing? Am I bearing life giving fruit or fruit that may lead to death? 

Real cherry tomatoes

Horse nettle (toxic)

Blueberries - delicious and healthy

Holly leaved berberry - discovered that this sometimes is eaten in the Pacific NW, so this one doesn’t really help my illustration 

Grapes - reminds me of the vineyards near our old home in California

Moonseed - very toxic

I called Wayne last night and told him how I was processing this illustration that God gave me. If I am fully surrendered to God and living for Him, I produce life giving fruit. Right? As we are close to God and spend time in His Word, we begin to look and sound more like Jesus. This is appealing to people and it leads to opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them. It’s life giving, much like real, genuine fruit gives us life giving nutrition. The Good News of Jesus...His death, burial, and resurrection, is life giving when you embrace Him as Savior and Lord! 

On the other hand, if I’m living for self and loving the world more than Jesus, I will look more like the world and people won’t be drawn to Jesus by my life. The fruit I’m producing isn’t life giving, it can cause sickness and possible death to those around us. My ability to share this life giving fruit is altered by my goals and focus in life. People will not see a difference between me and the world, so why even bother being a Christian? We lose that chance to share the life giving gospel message with them.

This morning I got up to continue working through Isaiah, and I came across this same topic of good grapes vs wild grapes. The vine dresser, God, had chosen the best spot and worked hard to grow his fruit, the Israelites. Unfortunately, they bore wild grapes, much like a plant would do on land not cared for. I continued my study by reading the commentary, Enduring Word. I came across this quote, “We are dealing here with something worse then unfruitfulness. The New Testament also speaks of a faith that bring forth fruit, but the fruit is dead works, which pollute the air like a cadaver. The wolfsbane, or wild vine (2 Kings 4:39), does bear beautiful berries, but they are bitter, foul-smelling, and poisonous in nature. This is a precise description of the self-willed and false religion of the unfaithful covenant people.” (Bultema)

I felt like God had a theme He was trying to teach me with these two lessons: the Holy Spirit impressing on my heart this “parable” of these two fruits, and then reading about this again in Isaiah. I love it when we stop and allow God to teach us. It’s my prayer that I always bear life giving fruit to the world around me so that I will live in such a way that others are drawn to Jesus living in me, which ultimately, will give me a chance to share the life giving gospel with them! What about you, what kind of fruit are you bearing? What kind of fruit do you want to bear?

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