Roots & Fruits

The Apostle Matthew records Jesus' sermon on the mountainside, saying these words: “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.” However, in verse 15, Jesus warns His audience that false prophets would disguise themselves as harmless sheep but inwardly are vicious wolves. The way Jesus identifies false prophets is the same way He identifies good and bad trees, by the fruit they produce. Trees represent each one of us, and fruit is representative of the manner of life in which we live. The fruit reveals the root, in the same way the evidence of a life lived following Christ is revealed in the fruit but determined by the root.

I recently attempted to grow a few tomato plants in our backyard. One thing I learned from this experience, after the plants began to droop, was that drooping was the result of the plant receiving too little water. The roots of the plant absorb the water.

Psalms chapter one describes believers who don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly or join in the plans and purposes of the wicked. It goes on to verse three and says, “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” Trees are anchored above ground by their roots below ground. The water of the Word of God causes our roots to grow in Him. As Christ followers, we are anchored in public life by our private life. When we allow our roots to grow in Christ and His Word, it develops an intimacy that informs our public walk, just as the roots of a tree reveal the condition of the fruits of that tree. Our roots in Christ reveal the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in our everyday life.  

God desires that we bear fruit in each season of our life. It’s good news for every believer because God desires to use the fruit in our life, cultivated by the Holy Spirit, to bless others around us. As we grow in intimacy with Jesus, we become strong, well-rooted trees that bear the fruit of His love to be tasted by all. Our silence in moments of prayer is the fruit of our trust in Him. Our kindness to those who haven’t been kind to us is the fruit of Christ’s kindness toward us. Our patience in times of hurry, and even frustration, is fruit borne of the truth that God is in control, always. The question we should ask ourselves each day is, what story does the fruit of my life tell others about Jesus Christ?

JOURNAL: In prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where he is developing fruitfulness in your walk with him. Write down what you hear.

ACTIVATION: Share that with a trusted friend or mentor and ask them to partner with you in prayer. Pray with them about this.

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