Where is your fruit? Fruit as in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Are you producing these things or is your branch bare? I’m only asking because as I was reading yesterday, a passage stood out to me. A parable Jesus told in Luke 13: 6-9 that says, “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’” This passage made me think of how God must feel every time He looks at us and we aren’t producing anything worthy of Him, who we’ve been planted in. Yet He says, I’ll give her more time, I’ll give him special attention and fertilize their roots again. I’ll make sure they are in the right place to get a little more SON, I’ll ensure they aren’t crowded with other non-growing branches, I’ll prune away the dead stuff and I’ll give them what they need. Year after year, He should cut us off but instead He says, I’ll give them another year. Day after day, He sees our bare branches and He still says, I’ll give them another day.
Even when we bear fruit and it’s rotten, He says, I’ll give him more time. Why? Because Jesus says in John 15:1, “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.” When our fruit stinks, God says, I’ll give her a special treatment.” Why? Because Jesus says in John 15:3, “You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.” Even when our branches need to be pruned, God says, “I’ll nurse it back to health.” Why? Because Jesus says in John 15:4, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” Even when we deserved to be cut off, God keeps us because Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” So I ask you today, what fruit are you bearing, where are you bearing it and is it worthy of being picked?
Thank you for not cutting us off. Thank you for keeping us even when the fruit we bear isn’t worthy of being attached to you. Today, God, I will strive to be a better fruit bearer.