No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit… The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45)
This passage of Scripture seems so simple. I mean shouldn’t we expect good things to come out of someone who has good stored up in their heart and shouldn’t we expect evil from the same. Honestly, I don’t expect to get apples from an orange tree. And I don’t expect to get peaches from a plum-tree. That just doesn’t make sense. I expect to find oranges in an orange grove and apples in an apple grove. So why is it that we expect good things to come from those who do not store up good in their hearts. Hmmm…. Good question!
Let’s look at what kind of fruit a good tree should bear!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Does your life exhibit love? Are you loving to those you come in contact with?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Many times people want to equate joy with happiness. That is not possible! Happiness is a feeling. You can be happy today and sad tomorrow! Joy is something we can experience in God during our circumstances. Paul wrote these words while he was in prison,
“Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
God has offered us a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Will your life reflect this peace? Will people see this fruit on your tree?
I think this is one of my least favorite parts at times. But notice the fruit of the Spirit is one fruit, not many. The Bible does not say “fruits of the Spirit”. God wants us to understand that we operate best as Christians when we learn to have a little of all these areas in our lives. The next time your waiting at the grocery store, in traffic, or at the doctor’s office. Have patience, ask God how He would want to use that moment in your life! Don’t miss out on the moments God has for you because you’re pushing time along! Where in your life do you need to have a little more patience?
Basic definition – a readiness to respond with righteousness and thoughtful consideration beyond how people treat us or how they may or may not deserve it.
Have you shown someone kindness lately by doing something for them without any strings attached? Have you reached out with the time, resources, and love that you have from God? The loving-kindness that God shows you every day should be returned to Him by giving it to others. A kind word, a kind gesture, and a moment of your time will all go a long way when used for God.
Have you ever watched someone do something extra for no reason? Have you ever seen someone go out of their way for someone? Do we demonstrate goodness in our hearts towards others? When we are asked to go one mile for someone, do we go two? How far will we go for others?
Are you true, trustworthy, and reliable in all your dealings with people? Can people count on you to follow through on what you say you will do?
Basic definition – This indicates strength under control so we are Christians who encourage others and place others first with action and encouragement.
The best kind of strength is a strength that can come under the control of God. God wants us to operate under His sovereignty. He alone knows how to direct our steps and make our ways gentle. Are you encouraging those around you? Are you being gentle? Have you surrendered yourself to the Lord?
And the fruit of the Spirit wraps up with Self-control. This is pretty important! We need self-control to practice any of the previous characteristics we see above. Without this we live an aimless life, just hoping we will make it to the goal God has called us to. It’s so important to be disciplined in the things of God and follow His lead. We need to walk in His direction and lead a self-controlled life.
So, how is your tree looking? Are you bearing the fruit of a good tree? Do you have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control hanging from your branches? Do people see this in your life? If not, what needs to change? What areas need to be worked on? I can say, that each of these areas need to be worked on in my life. Honestly, I’ll be working on them for the rest of my life! Thankfully, God can handle that! He is patient, kind, loving, and all the qualities that we need. I continue to strive to bear the fruit that I see in my Father above. The fruit of the good tree. The fruit of a good man’s heart!
Challenge: Matthew 7:1-23 and Luke 6:37-45
Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Dear Father God, Please trim the branches of my tree. Help me to be a tree that bears the good fruit talked about in Your Word. I pray that people would see Your love, Your kindness, Your goodness, and so much more in me. God I desire to reflect what I see in You. Please continue Your good work in me!
Bearing the Good Fruit,