How are you recognized?

July 26, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
(Matthew 7:20 (NIV))

Have you ever seen an apple tree bear peaches? Have you ever seen an orange tree bear bananas? In the physical world, if we ever saw anything like this, we would think that we have gone utterly insane. These types of things just don’t happen. We are so used to seeing things a certain way that we know that certain things will never happen. Matthew understood this. He even took this concept one step further and explained that good fruit does not come from plants that we know to be bad. He referenced plants that most people cut down, dig up or burn. How could anything good ever come from something like this?

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
(Matthew 7:16-18 (NIV))

The very same concept is also true in the spiritual as well. It seems as if everyone knows one or two people who just can’t seem to do anything good. Their whole demeanor just ruminates with a foreboding sense that is not comfortable to be around. They display everything that is opposite of the fruit that we are told is good.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
(Galatians 5:22-23a (NIV))

Fruit is the means of reproducing in kind the very thing that produced the fruit. It carries the seed that will grow another plant like the one that it came from. When we think of fruit in the physical world, we think of something that is sweet and succulent to eat. Think of this in terms of the fruit of the Spirit. When we partake of the fruit of the Spirit, we soon begin to grow and mature with that very fruit becoming evident in our lives. The more love, joy and peace that you partake of, the more love, joy and peace that you bear.

Take a serious look at your life. Do you produce love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, or do you produce something completely different? How do you think that others see what you produce?

How are you recognized?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you in need of pruning?

February 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
(John 15:1-2 (NIV))

Think about this passage. There are two things that caught my attention. Both of which, we, as the Body of Christ, must recognize.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit

If you have fruit bearing trees, and an old limb just does not produce fruit, what do you do with it?

Think about that in relation to your life and your faith. Are you bearing fruit? I know that this makes me take a good, hard look at my life and how I appear to God. Am I that old limb that is in need of removing? Am I simply there without any benefit to those who look to me for how I can bring Jesus into their lives?

I pray that I bear fruit!

The second point directly relates to our ability to bear fruit.

while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

Every single one of us has things in our lives that detract from our ability to bear fruit. Just as a healthy tree may develop some problems and have to be trimmed back, our problems may also have to be trimmed back. Once we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we will not be perfect. Once we start to bear fruit, we will still have problems that must be corrected so that our fruit will multiply. The Body of Christ must be willing to accept this pruning for it is a much needed step in the maturation of our faith.

Think about these two very distinct aspects of how a gardener cares for the vine. One is a total removal because it does not bring life. The other is a loving correction so that our lives and our fruit may be more abundant.

I know that correction can be painful and unpleasant, but given the two options, it is obvious that it is better to undergo the correction than to undergo the removal. Would you want to be cast away from Jesus? Would you be willing to allow for the removal of unfruitful elements from you life?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

Would you be willing to allow God to prune away areas of your life so that your fruit may blossom and grow?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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