The Lord wants good fruit from our lives! While reading Luke this week, I pondered the lesson from Jesus about the trees and their fruit. Jesus said, “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit…” (Luke 6:43-44a). And so, my natural question is “How can I be a good tree, bearing good fruit?” The more I grow in the Lord, the more I realize the importance of “pruning.” Pruning is the cutting away of that which is unimportant to allow what is essential to grow and flourish. When Jesus speaks of a “good tree,” we know from other Scriptures that only He is the source of this goodness. Salvation is Jesus washing our hearts from sin and declaring us forgiven, not guilty, before God. This is grace! Pruning is the surrender and discipline I offer the Lord because of His grace given to me. In other words, God’s grace in my life does not mean I have no involvement in growing good fruit. Jesus goes on to describe the process of growing good or bad fruit. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart” (Luke 6:45a). If we truly belong to God, and are called a “good tree,” we will cooperate with God by making sure we store up good in our hearts. Okay, let’s get practical. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you make daily decisions. What will you watch on the TV or PC? What kind of music will you listen to? What type of material will you read? Who will you choose to listen to? For, what passes through your eye and ear “gates” gets stored in your hearts. If you wonder why God tells us over and over again to read, study, and meditate on His Word, it’s because He wants us to be filled with His thoughts and to turn from evil. From good thoughts come good fruit. From evil thoughts come bad fruit. The concept is easy. However, the practice takes God’s power, blended with our self-discipline! In the end we will present the fruit of our lives as gifts to the One who gave us the greatest gift…eternal salvation through Jesus Christ!
Pastor Mark Boucher