Did you know that most apple tree varieties require cross pollination of a different variety in order to bear fruit? Because crab-apple trees bloom for a long period of time, apple farmers often plant them in their orchards to have a consistent cross pollination. That explains why every orchard where I have been picking always has crab-apple trees! There are also over 2,000 known varieties of apples - many of which have been genetically altered. Not all those apple trees produce a fruit that we would enjoy eating. But there is also a reassuring feeling knowing that each tree will produce the type of apple that it has been genetically set to produce. A golden delicious tree will produce golden delicious apples, while a crab-apple tree will produce crab-apples. Likewise, God created each of us to bear fruit - when we are in Christ we bear the Fruit of the Spirit. The verses I am reading today show us some warnings about the fruit that different people will produce. Please read Matthew 7:13-23.
Jesus shows us that there is only one way to heaven and very few people choose to follow that path. However, He warns us that there will be people who appear to be following the right path because of what they say and the miracles they perform in Christ's name. But He tells us to look at the fruit they are producing - how they act. Basically, Jesus is telling us in these verses that a person who is not in Christ cannot bear the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). He warns against following the person who does not show good fruit just because they do things in His name. When we believe in Christ as our Savior, our spiritual genetics change so we can bear good fruit.
I also want to emphasize that in order to learn how to bear good fruit, we need to commit to a life of following Christ. This means that we need to spend time with Him; time in prayer and in the Bible. Just as apple trees require cross-pollination in order to bear fruit, we need to cross pollinate with the good things that God has given us. How we spend our time determines whether or not we are getting the cross-pollination that it takes to bear good fruit. Doing what God says is the fruit He desires. This has to be our priority; this is what Christ talks about when He speaks of true disciples.
Are you cross-pollinating with Christ in order to bear good fruit? Are you being careful whose message you follow by looking at their fruit?
This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesday and Soli Deo Gloria.