One of the joys of moving into a new house in South Texas can be found in surveying the backyard. I found lush green grass and many fruit trees. I’m a city girl who had fabulous country ladies for grandmothers. I remember visiting their hometowns in Brazil and learning all about fruit trees, herbs and harmful vegetation.
I snap out of my childhood memory to realize that I’m now a grown woman with little knowledge about plants. One thing I’m smart enough to do is to survey fruit. The plan was to wait for the trees to bear fruit and then decide if we can enjoy the fruit or stay away from it. That year we found out we had a variety of fruit we recognized and many we did not. We feasted on lemons and persimmon and we stayed away from 3 types of fruits we had never seen before.
My life bears fruit the same way as my backyard trees do. It’s fair to say that people are often inspecting the fruit I produce. Jesus never called us to judge but we are encouraged to be fruit inspectors.
"You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them." Matthew 7:16-20
If I’m known by my fruit, I hope that I am producing good fruit. I often pray that I am producing good fruit. I also know that only by abiding in Christ I can bear good fruit.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
What does abiding mean to you? To me, it simply means sticking with Jesus. I stick with Him by putting Him first. I read about Him when I wake up. I pray and talk to Him often. I strive to please Him and represent Him well.
I abide by getting to know Him better and teaching my kids about Him. I am bound to produce good fruit when I try my best to stick with Jesus and His ways. I pray that those who survey the landscape of our lives this week find fruit that taste sweet because we’re abiding in Christ as He abides in us.