Fruit. The sight of fresh fruit is an appetizing feast for the eyes – colors so vividly alluring in reds, yellows, oranges, purples, blues.
The aroma of fresh fruit causes our mouths to water – what smells lovelier than a fresh peach?
The taste of fresh fruit is practically indescribable, it is that delectable – our taste buds tingle with each yummy bite.
So many delicious kinds of fruit are harvested in the summer season. We enjoyed our own luscious fruit grown right here at our country home this year.
Each summer month brought a new harvest of berries to sample. You might say it was a berry good summer for us!
In June, hubby’s strawberries bore fruit for the first time. Sweet and savory strawberries secretly scattered under dense green foliage, almost playing a hide and seek game with us. Visits to the strawberry patch yielded surprises each time we peeked under the leaves. Strawberry shortcake became our staple summer time treat and sometimes, we just ate scrumptious strawberries straight from the patch.
July brought a batch of beautiful, bounteous blueberries yielded from our five small bushes. The blossoming little berries required a net covering to keep the birds from getting a bonus of berries first, but we managed to pluck enough to add a blithe blessing of fruit to our breakfast cereal every morning. Blueberries, full of those antioxidants nutritionists keep talking about, are a boon to our health.
Several rallies of rambling red raspberries were ready for reaping in August. We raided our small bushes several times and were rewarded with refreshing fruit which we relished baked in raspberry buckle. But most of the time, we simply ravished those freshly picked ripe raspberries right out of our hands or they adorned our breakfast bowls like royal rubies.
As the summer season comes to a close, fruit bearing here at our country home also ends for the time being, but only in the physical sense. Spiritually, we must continue to bear good fruit, no matter the season.
As believers in Jesus Christ, our desire is to yield good fruit as often as possible. Trusting and relying on the Lord, we can be compared to a fruit-bearing tree. Jeremiah 17:7-9 tells us, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jesus discussed fruit quite a bit in the New Testament. He warned us about false prophets and those who bear bad fruit in Matthew 7:15-20. He advised us that we would recognize them by their fruit. To me, there is nothing more unappetizing than rotten fruit, but that’s the picture Jesus paints for me in this passage about those who bear bad fruit. And I don’t want to be a rotten fruit bearer!
He also reminds us that we can not produce fruit on our own in John 15:1-8: “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like the branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
I love this passage of scripture. Picture the Father as our Master Gardener. All things good and vibrant come from His strong and capable hands. He tilled the soil, prepared it, and lovingly planted His vine, the Son Jesus Christ, here on earth for a purpose.
That purpose is so we may come to know Him, to grow in Him, and become the branches of the Vine. The branches are nourished by the vine and pruned by the Master Gardener enabling them to extend outward so that others may come to know Him as well. And from this process, the most exquisite, sweetest smelling fruit will be produced.
That delectable, delightful fruit is the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” ~ Galatians 5:22
If we remain connected to our Vine – Jesus – through prayer, through reading the Word, through fellowship with other believers, through our desire to do good works in the name of our Savior, we will yield that good fruit in abundance. We simply can not produce the good fruit on our own.
Those that come into contact with us will recognize the sweetness and goodness of that fruit and desire to taste it too. “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” ~ Psalm 34:8
Bearing good fruit will have its reward someday too. Colossians 1:10 says, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”
That is our task for today and every day – remain in the Vine and be fruitful, even if you have to withstand a little pruning.