What Is Your Fruit?
My dad made the best apple butter. Anyone who ate Jimmy’s apple butter knows I am speaking the truth. Every time we would go home to visit, we would have his apple butter for breakfast with biscuits. Over the years, I would ask my dad for his recipe. His response was always I don’t have a recipe. I think he just loved making his special treat and having it available for everyone who came to visit.
He made his delicacy from a tree in the backyard that produced the most delicious crop of apples for years. A few years before he passed, the tree started dying and not yielding as it had before. The apples became rotten and infested with yellow jackets. The squirrels were happy as they filled their bellies with all the spoils on the ground. My father decided to cut the tree down. It was a sad day for all of us, an apple butter loving family. From that day forward, there was no more homemade apple butter. Unfortunately, my father’s health declined, and he couldn’t plant another more fruitful tree and enjoy the apples.
Let’s talk about the fig tree in Luke 13:6-9. The man who owned the vineyard had a fig tree that wasn’t producing fruit, and he told the gardener to cut it down. The gardener asked the owner for one more year and a chance to fertilize and provide exceptional care for this fig tree. Jesus had come to the nation of Israel, allowing them the opportunity to repent and turn back to God. If they refused, the tree would be cut down.
If a fig tree grown in fertile soil didn’t produce fruit within three years, it probably wasn’t going to provide at all. In the bible, a fruitful tree is an illustration of godly living.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit ~ Jeremiah 17:7 NKJV.
Are we in a place in our country where we have tried God’s grace? Have we carelessly wasted time, become apathetic, and failed to repent and live in obedience? We have lost the ability forgive each other and to see truth. I believe God’s judgment has graciously been held back on our nation. I genuinely feel we are at a critical juncture. His patience will not continue forever.
Is He ready to cut down the tree?
I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard this question: We spend two hours a week at church, what are we doing with the other one hundred and sixty-six hours? My friend, this is the time we must be showing people who we are and “bearing our fruit.” We are to be ambassadors for God and walk in love, light, and wisdom, speaking the truth with our neighbors. We are to stand firm in the face of adversity. We can only hold ground with the help of the Holy Spirit.
If we believe that the bible is the inherent word of God, we need to live for Him and “bear our fruit.” Our silence is not an option. He demands we share the good news of the gospel. He says if we turn back to him, stand up and declare it, He will heal our land.
Let me ask how many people would never hear about the freedom that awaits them if you and I don’t share it with them? They are worth the effort. Perhaps like me before, the world has broken them. God desires their hearts just as much as he wanted mine. We are to be the salt and the light of this world. Let us keep charging forward.
Sitting here, I can’t help but remember the delicious apple pies my dad made from that tree.