What kind of tree is that?
As springtime rolls in, trees are beginning to bloom. As you see different evidences of spring showing in the trees, perhaps someone may ask, “What kind of tree is that?”
In Matthew 7, Jesus is teaching about false prophets. He proclaims, “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:16)
Paul also uses the metaphor of fruit to describe the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a)
A good question for reflection is, “What kind of fruit is my life bearing?” Is it good fruit?
“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. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:17-20)
Our natural instinct may be to try harder to produce good fruit. But in the Galatians passage above, the fruit of the spirit is contrasted with the “acts” or “works” of the flesh. We can produce these works of the flesh in our own power. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit can fruit be produced through our lives.
Cling to Jesus. Abide in the Vine. “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Jesus from John 15:5)