Monday, June 19, 2017

Aiming for Consistency and 360 Degree Fruitfulness

UV 2298/10000 Aiming for Consistency and 360 Degree Fruitfulness
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Matthew 7 v 18

We as believers in Christ need to be consistent in our character, our words, our actions and behaviour. Since the seed of our lives is the good seed of the Lord, the soil of our souls being good, our growth and the fruit of our lives should be consistently good and not good some times and bad some times. A good person’s thoughts, words and conduct are in alignment with God just as a good tree can only produce the best fruit. A good tree needs a good root. Our root should be good in terms of our beliefs, our principles, our values. In addition, a tree to be healthy and good needs different inputs like good soil with enough nutrients and minerals for it to absorb, sufficient sunshine, good rain to provide a regular source of water supply, manure to fertilize or enrich the soil, fencing to protect it from predators, regular pruning of branches.

A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. The fruit may appear to be good but may either be rotten on the inside or lacking sweetness or taste. A bad tree comes from bad seed of thoughts and ideas, bad soil or lack of faith, insufficient knowledge, understanding and wisdom, insufficient water, excessive or insufficient sunshine, lack of fencing and upkeep of the tree. The Lord as the planter of every human expects the good fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and humility in us. The good fruit that the Lord expects cannot come from such a tree. The bad tree produces anger, hatred, jealousy, conflict, hurt, bitterness, abuse, lust, pride, arrogance, laziness, fears, insecurity, selfishness, malice.

Jesus as our Divine Gardener has the power and grace to transform bad trees into good trees. But for this to happen we need to continually and deeply dwell in Him and with Him in the spirit. We need to be rooted in Christ and imitate His methods, intent and determination to be good and godly. Our root in Him needs to be strengthened. The branches of our lives are the different areas of our lives- personal, family, work, friends, service, charity, creativity, finances. These branches should be pruned and maintained to be fruitful or productive. We need to get the sunshine of righteousness every day and be watered regularly with the Word of God. We need inputs of encouragement and counsel from other godly teachers. We need to have a fencing or protection around us at all times to keep the predatory spirit away. With all these in place, we will not relapse to our old nature of being bad trees in the garden of the Lord. Not producing fruit and producing bad fruit are both equally negative options. Producing less fruit is also working below capacity. We need to aim for consistency in producing more and more high quality fruit of life. The Holy Spirit guides, teaches, counsels us but our own self driven growth and thought process does play a role in removing the bad seed of negative thoughts, negative words, the bad root of wrong beliefs and values, the unproductive branches of our lives. Our spoken word should be used to heal people and nations and not to drive a wedge between them. A good tree produces fruit all round or in 360 degrees. We need to aim for consistency in 360 degree fruitfulness.
Prateep V Philip

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