Daily D – Luke 6:43-45
“A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.”
LUKE 6:43-45 (CSB)
My mother is a Certified Master Gardener. Dad is also a master gardener sans the certification. Both of them love tilling the ground, planting seeds, growing flowers for beauty, and fruit and vegetables for the table. They have a garden wherever they make their home.
One of their gardens along the way featured different kinds of plums, peaches, blackberries, and strawberries. Our son was a wee tot then and enjoyed staining his clothes with fruit juices. I myself enjoy substituting fruit for the waffle fries that would otherwise accompany my grilled chicken sandwich from Chick fil A.
Yesterday’s lunch at another favorite establishment included a cup of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Fruit is good food.
Jesus often talked about fruitfulness. He said you can quickly tell the difference between those who know and experience God in ever-greater measure from those who do not. There is a change in their essential nature, their observable character.
The Apostle Paul contrasted those ruled by their sinful nature with those ruled by the Spirit of God in Galatians 5:19-26. In verses 22 and 23 he describes the fruit of a close walk with God:
When people inspect your life and mine, they expect to see growth and development. They expect to see us becoming more loving, more peaceful, more patient, kinder, better, more faithful, gentler, and more in control of our emotions and reactions. They expect to see more Jesus.
Do they see more Jesus?
Do they see more blackberries and fewer briars?
Many years ago, I added Galatians 5:22, 23 to my weekly prayer list. Tuesday by Tuesday, I asked God to build these character qualities into my life. I wanted more of his love, his unconquerable benevolence, to flow from me. I wanted to join him in seeking his highest good for others.
I wanted more of his joy to overflow into the lives of others from my ever-closer walk with him. I wanted more of his peace, evidenced by a tranquil heart and mind, to rule my actions and reactions.
On and on, I sought to turn these ideals into reality. This desire still shapes my prayers. I commend this kind of praying to you. Take time to learn what these words identified as the fruit of the Spirit mean. Consider how they can shape your thoughts and reshape the results of your good behavior. Depend on God and trust him to build into you a sweet life of overflowing goodness.
Everyone we meet gauges our fruitfulness with one kind of measure or another. Give them the opportunity to see the best, to experience the best, and to desire the best.
Jesus is The Master Gardener. He wants your life to bear much fruit, fruit that will last. See John 15 for details.
Our world is a sweeter, better place when we bear much fruit.
I will live a fruitful life.
Our Father, please build these character qualities into my life. I want to live fruitfully and effectively for you. I want others to see your goodness in the transforming work you are doing in my life. I want what John the Baptist wanted when he said, “He must increase; I must decrease.” More Jesus, please. More love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Amen.
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Jeremiah 18:1-4 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Philippians 1:4-6 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Jeremiah 17:7, 8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)