Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Fruit


The Fruit We Grow
A devotional by Ginger Solomon


“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:2 (ESV)

It’s fruit season where I live. We’ve been getting blueberries for some time. The peaches are ripening. The apples, cherries, plums, and blackberries should be available in the next few months. Everything in its season.



We have several trees that have died or are diseased. And just like the verse above, we trim them back every year and remove the diseased or dead parts (or rather my husband does). This allows for the healthy branches to get the needed nutrients and produce the best fruit.

There are many verses in the New Testament that refer to the fruit we as Christians are supposed to bear. A few short verses after the above, Jesus continues the fruit vein. “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8) Matthew writes about those who don’t produce fruit. “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10)

The parable of the sower is the clearest example of our lives, I think. Here's the story as told in Mark 4:3-8... “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

Stay with me for a moment, because you might be saying that this verse doesn’t say anything about fruit, but you’d be wrong. The word translated grain here is the same Greek word for fruit (karpon). 
And because I am a lover of words, here's the explanation: "Karpon" means "fruit, result or gain". Generally, it’s talking about vegetables/fruit or animals, but it can also mean deeds, actions, results, profit, or gain. Figuratively (which is what I’m discussing here), it refers to the things we do with Christ. It’s about a believer being united with Christ, allowing His life to flow through ours to yield eternal fruit. This is the definition from BibleHub.com.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

I heard a sermon recently about this topic. It prompted this post, actually. The pastor said that for us to have the fruit of the Spirit, we must first have the seed of the Spirit. Just as in this realm, that seed takes time to grow. It needs to be watered and fed by the Word. It must be tended. It doesn’t happen overnight. 

We grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Just as some fruits take longer to mature, so do some of these fruits. 

He also pointed out that there is no law against any of these fruits. They are all there for us to grow in and bless others with. No one is going to complain (or at least they shouldn’t) if you love them or have joy or are peaceful, or exhibit kindness, or...or...or. You understand.

John 15:4-5 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Without Him, I cannot produce fruit.

And now the hard question, one that I struggle with in my own life: What does your fruit look like? Is it withered or rotten? Are you tending the seed of the Spirit?

*All Bible verses mentioned within this devotional are from the English Standard Version of The Holy Bible.

~*~
Author Bio:
Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly). 

She writes or reads inspirational romance of any genre, and if she’s busy homeschooling, doing laundry, or fixing dinner, books are on her mind.

She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), president of her local writing group, and blogs regularly for InspyRomance.com and at gingersolomon.com.

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