“So, every healthy tree bears good fruit,
but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.” (Matthew 7.17)
The way that any of us is ever going to produce the good fruit, the fruit that lasts, is by having Christ formed in us. It’s what is on the inside that will produce what grows on the outside – not the other way around. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15.5
“A person who is prepared and capable of responding to the situations of life in ways that are good and right is a person whose soul is in order, under the direction of a well-kept heart, in turn under the direction of God”
The external nature of our fruit is not attributed to our good work, but is a good indicator of what is going on within our soul, spirit, heart and mind. If we are short tempered – jealous – impatient – judgmental – critical – vengeful - it means something is not right within us. That is the time we need to tend to the soil of our soul. We need to stop, pause, be still, and allow the streams of living water to flow within us in order to produce the good fruit, fruit that is of the Holy Spirit, fruit that ultimately a gift from God.
Thank you for this thoughtful message on spiritual formation. As I look back on the years of praying for the Church I remember the scripture from Isaiah 28 which He kept bringing us back to concerning bearing good fruit. “The Lord Almighty is a wonderful teacher, and He gives the farmer great wisdom.” Is. 28:29. We concluded He kept taking us back to that word over the years because we weren’t listening. I thank God our leadership is now intently listening. Is. V 11, 14, 23. Praising God!
Amen, Amen, Amen! And Hallelujah to boot! Worthy, worthy is the LORD of all praise and glory!
I have just read this and am thinkinh it over. If I get the message right, it is a comfort. I appreciate all you do and Erica as well.