The Fruit of My Life
Matthew 12:33-35 …the tree is known by its fruit… The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
A friend recently asked me how I found time to process the blog every day. What popped into my head was, You have no idea how much time and energy I once wasted on my corrupt behavior. I previously put so much effort into pursuing my flesh life. Now, I need to put that same effort into pursuing my spirit life.
The fruit I bore at one time stood as evidence as to what type of tree I was. When I wonder at the fruit I have produced, I have no further to look than at that which I have been pursuing. It is no mystery. If I pursue destruction, I find it. If I pursue God, I find him.
So, now, I daily read, pray and meditate. I do not do it perfectly, but by the time I get up to write, I have worked on the passage for the last 24 hours. This has been revolutionary for my thinking. I do not write this to tell you of how great it is to be me, but rather just to provide some insight into how God has renewed me.
I would do this whether there was a blog attached to it or not. In treatment, I realized that life had to be radically different. If I wanted to produce different fruit, I had to grow a new tree. This is not a once-for-all decision and it is not something to dabble at. It will consume the rest of my life. Growing God in me is a life effort.
The temptation is often to attempt to produce the fruit of the life we wish we had instead of the life we have. When we fall from grace, we want to show others how well we have rebounded. Or, we just feel obligated as a Christian to be doing something. So, we try to grow fruit out of nothing. I have been there, trying to produce because I felt obligated but I did not have anything in me other than me. I tried to do for God, just to prove myself, but as it was still done out of pride, it turned to ash.
The fruit I produce, flows out of what I am inside. If I am filled with God’s spirit, that life will grow out of me. If I am filled with the pursuits of my flesh, I will produce destruction. I do not set out to grow fruit. I set out to grow God in me. Fruit is the result.
Jesus says in this passage, that we will one day be judged by the kind of fruit we produced in this life. This is a little terrifying. I was taught that we were saved by our faith, not by works. Jesus did not contradict saved by faith in his statement. He just insisted that saving faith, must lead to life changes. If, at the end of a life, that life has never produced the fruit of faith, then there was never any real faith to begin with.
If I claim faith in God, I must pursue his spirit life in me. This spirit life renews my mind and will inevitably produce the fruit of faith. Jesus says by this I will be judged.