Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I want to be a fruit producer!

As Christians, we are commanded to love just as Jesus loved us. John 15 ,beginning in verse 12, confirms this truth. In the very next verse, Jesus tells us about how the greatest love a person can be displayed…dying for their friends. Then he called the disciples his friends because they had followed his commands (v 14). WOW! I know the disciples couldn’t see the big picture of what Jesus had just said. But we can. We know now why he told them this; Jesus was preparing them for the work he called them to do…produce fruit (v. 16) and love each other (17).  
Jesus told the disciples to “go and produce fruit…fruit that will last.” How do we produce this type of fruit? Pondering this question, I thought about what my husband and I do to “produce fruit” in our garden. We don’t just plant seeds and hope they root and grow. We have to prepare the soil by pulling all the weeds and rooting out the bad stuff that has grown up over the winter months. Once this has been done, we plant our seeds and over the next several days provide proper nourishment (water, etc.) so they can take root. But our task doesn't end there. If left unattended, the good seeds will be overcome by the regrowth of weeds. The process is long, but necessary if we want enjoy the first bite of our harvest.
The same is true for us. Before we can produce lasting fruit, Jesus has to come into our heart (our garden) and prepare it for good seed. We come to him...a garden full of battered and bruised “weeds” that have choked the life right out of us. He begins the “weed-pulling” process in our lives. Out comes the bad…hate, chaos, anger bitterness, arrogance, gossip, and revelry. In us the good is planted…love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22 – 23). The more “weeds” Jesus removes, the more lasting fruit we will begin to produce as Jesus nourishes us with "life-giving" water.  This type of fruit will overflow out of our love and obedience to Christ and pour into to the lives of those around us.
What fruit do you see being produced in your life? Grow closer to Christ. Allow him to pull up the “weeds” in your life so you can do as he commanded “Go and produce fruit.”
Related Scripture: Psalm 1:2-3; Micah 3:8; Zechariah 4:6; Matthew 13:23; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Eph. 3:16 - 17

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