Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down. Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'” –Luke 13:6-9
According to Jesus, the only way to see if something is alive is to check its fruit. I don’t know where we got this misconception, but many of us really don’t expect much to happen in our lives as Christ-followers. When we say yes to Jesus, we expect forgiveness of our sins and a ticket to heaven when we die, but not much else. But, the Bible is clear: not only does Jesus want to give us the promise of heaven and spiritual blessing, He wants to get involved in our lives. He wants to plant something within us that is going to take root and begin to change the way we live, impacting the actions, decisions and character of our lives. In other words, Jesus expects to see something grow within us as a result of His presence in our lives.
If you garden or are in the habit of planting things, you know that once you plant something, you expect it to grow. In fact, you expect a specific plant or fruit to come from your hard work. Things that are alive grow and produce fruit. If your planting yielded nothing or something different than you expected, you would take decisive action.
It is the same way with spiritual fruit. Jesus expects that once His Spirit has taken root in our lives, fruit will be developing and growing. Remember, things that are alive, grow! If the fruit of the Lord–traits such as love, joy and peace–are growing in you life day-by-day and year-by-year, something good is going on! If not, something is wrong. And according to Jesus’ parable quoted above, things are going to have to change.
Do you know you have huge fruit-bearing potential? You do! Once you believe this and allow God to do His gardening work in your life, slowly, but surely, you will see your life bear a steady crop of spiritual fruit.
1. How is God’s fruit growing in you? Do you see it? Do others see it?
2. Ask Jesus to give you insight on those things in you that are resisting growth. Ask the Lord to produce a “huge” harvest of goodness and faithfulness in your life.
Galatians 5:22-23; Matthew 5:3-16; Matthew 7:17-20