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Good or Bad Fruit

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance… The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Luke 3:8-9)

When we first bought our farm one of the most exciting things we were looking forward to was gathering fruit from the fruit trees that were growing on the place. We have several kinds of fruit growing. We have a couple of apple trees, two tame plum trees, a tame and a wild pear tree, a crabapple tree, two pecan trees, three peach trees and an almond tree. There are blackberries, muscadines and possum grapes galore, not to mention the persimmons.

Because of the time of year when we purchased the land, we were not able to assure that the trees were properly attended. As you know, in order to produce quality fruit, especially peaches, plums and apples, you must spray the trees at specific intervals to prevent worms from forming in the fruit. We were pretty sure that the previous owners had not taken this precaution.

Here’s what we have now. We have some of the prettiest, fullest, peaches you could hope for, except for the rotten places. We have some of the best plums you have ever put in your mouth, except for an occasional worm. The apples have the blight and the pears have almost all fallen off the tree. The fruit is still tasty if you don’t mind eating around the worm.

Because there was such a lack of concern by the previous owners, we now have to live the whole fruit bearing season in disappointment. The disappointment is deeper than just having bad fruit. It is deeper because we know it could have been easily avoided. A little time, a little concern and a little care could have caused the trees to bear good fruit in keeping with their purpose.

On several occasions Jesus instructed the disciples and others He taught to produce good fruit. He even explained on some occasions how a husbandman (keeper of a vineyard) would assure a productive plant.

If you and I think that we can go through life without caring for our lives and still expect to produce good fruit, we are wrong. God’s Word and His instruction are to us what a good sprayer and a few chemicals are to a fruit tree. Knowing and taking heed to His Word helps us maintain purity, keeping us from being contaminated by the things around us.

The fruit of these trees was contaminated because insects laid eggs in the bloom, which later hatched into worms inside the fruit. Satan is implanting his evil in us every day. Left unattended the worms of corruption will grow inside our fruit and before God what we present will be unacceptable.

It is imperative that we take the time and put forth the effort to assure that our fruit will be pure. I know what to do with my trees next Spring, but what will I do with my life right now?

By clinging to Christ and getting to know the Shepherd, our fruit will be purified and it can be offered to God without disappointment or shame. You may be a plum, a peach or a “hedgeapple,” but whatever we are we must produce good fruit in keeping with God’s design.