Wednesday Word: September 14, 2016
A Bountiful Harvest-Part 3 (Conclusion)
Matthew 13:33 – “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit…
When I was at the pick-your-own farmer’s market with my kids, most of the signs were knocked off. We could not tell what the produce was until we looked and examined what was growing on each vine or bush. Some of the things we didn’t recognize because we didn’t have any knowledge of what they were. Other things were not fully developed yet so we could not recognize them either. The only thing that helped us get in the right direction to even know what something was supposed to be was a map of the gardens we were given. Even then, we had to know how to read and follow the map and have knowledge of what the produce should look like to pick the good ones.
If someone doesn’t know what good fruit is supposed to look like, they will not be able to comprehend the difference between a good fruit (or vegetable) and a bad one. Just like the map I had at the farmer’s market, we have a map on how to not only discern the difference between the good and bad but also how to grow the good fruit within ourselves. Our map is the Bible.
Matthew 7:19-20 – Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
That which does not reflect the goodness of God within us will be cut down if we allow God’s pruning within us to happen. Just as dead branches and vines must be cut away or burned to allow a healthier harvest in the natural, the same is true of us in the spiritual sense. We often say “one bad apple spoils the bunch”. This is true. However, if you catch the rotting fruit in time you can save the other fruits.
In the spiritual, a good tree is known by the following fruits: Galatians 5:22-26 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
A bad tree is known by the following fruits: Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Only by the Holy Spirit can the entire system be changed from the “bad” to the “good”. Our assignment from day to day and moment by moment is not easy for us to do; it is not meant to be. It IS easy for our Lord who lives and has His being in us if we allow Him too. This is how to not only have but BE God’s bountiful harvest with a variety of fruits and vegetables full of healthy life giving nutrients:
Ephesians 5:8-14 – For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
Let us, the Body of Christ, be and bring forth the bountiful harvest of God’s garden by His Holy Spirit and by His Word, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Alicia R. Shipe
[For other writings and devotionals such as this, be sure to go to gatheringathisfeet.org daily.]