WHAT I’M WEARING:
Two of my house plants had dead branches. While transporting one of them down a flight of stairs, the tallest branch snapped, almost falling completely off. I’m not sure what my logic was but I tapped it to another branch with hopes of salvaging it.
Well, as you may have already assumed, the branch died. While I was cutting off the dead branch, I thought about what Jesus said about trees and branches…
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 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. John 15: 1-2
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 7:19
And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it…
…And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. Matthew 11: 13,14,20,21
While I cut off the dead branches of my plant, I thought to myself this must be what Jesus plans to do to everyone who refuses to bear good fruit. The story of Jesus cursing a fig tree that didn’t bear fruit should be enough confirmation that He expects us to bear fruit.
Putting aside for a second the compromised attraction of a plant with dead branches, I’ve come to realize that dead branches are very harmful for healthy plants. When a branch dies, it becomes food for decomposing organisms like fungi, bacteria and earthworms. These decomposing organisms can fall on healthy and living branches, harming them. To avoid this from happening, you’re encouraged to cut off all dead branches from your living plant/tree.
As children of God, we should look and act like God. Nothing about God is dead. And nothing about God is bad. And when we abide in Christ, He gives us His Spirit- the Holy Spirit- to dwell within us forever (John 14:16). His Spirit is responsible for teaching us all things (John 14:26), and producing good fruit within us (Galatians 5: 22).
So when you do not manifest good fruit, it is an indication that you are not abiding in Christ; and that His Spirit is not abiding in you. A person who does not produce good fruit is a person who is operating in rebellion to the will and plan God has for His children.
What does bad fruit look like?
According to Galatians 5:19-21
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
What does good fruit look like?
According to Galatians 5: 22-26,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Notice that though there are several fruits of the Spirit, the Bible categorizes them as fruit (singular). This is because when you bear one, you bear all. And one you don’t bear one, you’re guilty of not bearing all.
This post may seem elementary to some, might even be too “teachy” for others. But I believe these are the scriptures that we need to reference daily as a blueprint for living in Christ. Our sole purpose on earth is to glorify God, and the Bible says God is glorified when we bear much fruit (John 15:7)
Today I want you to ask yourself if you have love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. And if you don’t have one, then you don’t have all.
Abiding in Christ starts with believing in Who He is; and accepting what He did. It continues with repenting of your sins and ends with an indwelling of His Holy Spirit in your life.
If you’d like help on giving your life to Christ and starting to produce good fruit, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org