Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- December 4, 2013
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:1-2
There is authentic fruit, fake fruit and the fruit of sin. Followers of Jesus who are engrafted into Him, the true vine, flourish with the fruit of the Spirit. It is beautiful and luscious for all to see and taste that the Lord is good. The Holy Spirit’s fruit is all inclusive or none at all, there is no in between. Where there is love there will be joy, where there is joy there will peace, where there is peace there will be forbearance, etc. Imagine one tree that bears a variety of fruit, so one life that abides in Christ displays an array of character traits. Variety in kind validates authentic fruit.
Authentic fruit grows in abundance, while fruit forced in the flesh provides a meager return at the harvest. So, beware of fake fruit that is the result of human discipline, natural skills and temperament traits. Like plastic fruit that rests in a bowl on grandmother’s dining room table, it looks good but offers no life giving nutrients. We can force ourselves in the flesh to grit our teeth and practice self control, but this is an unsustainable substitute for the Spirit’s work of grace. Fake fruit mimics the real image for a while, but when tested is exposed as a cheap imitation.
But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors. Hosea 10:13
The fruit of sin looks appealing, but tastes bitter. Like the serpent tempted Eve and Adam to partake of sin’s fruit, Satan continues to lure us to feast on his deceitful delicacies. So, wise are we not to plant sin’s seeds or cultivate its influence. If iniquity begins to bloom it must be purged and destroyed by the Spirit’s shears of conviction, accompanied by our confession and repentance. Lives purged of sin make room for authentic fruit to flourish in a harvest of holiness.
Furthermore, invite your Heavenly Father to do a fruit inspection of your life. Will He discover the fruit of the Spirit, self or sin? Motives need a constant cleansing to ensure you are led by the Spirit and not driven by the flesh. Prayerful persuasion replaces impatient manipulation. Authentic fruit bearing is a lifetime process of replacing the unrighteous with the righteous. You cannot bear fruit, but God the Father the Gardner, God the Son the Vine and God the Spirit all bear fruit that remains. Saved souls and Christlike character are authentic fruits that glorify God.
Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:11
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I surrender to Your process of authentic fruit bearing in and through my life.
Related Readings: Matthew 21:43; Luke 3:8, 22:18; Romans 7:4; Colossians 1:6
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