A Tree Is Known By Its Fruit
“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit: nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which is in his heart.” -Jesus
Jesus tells us here that what comes out of our mouth is what is in our heart and if our heart is pure then good things will come up out of our lives, both from our mouths and from our actions.
I have a question. Why does it seem like sometimes both good and bad things come out of us. Some times we are full of love towards people and at other times we can think incredibly harsh thoughts about those same people? How come it seems like we are able to produce both good and bad fruit? Here are my thoughts on this subject. It seems to me that Jesus’ words in verse 45 give us a clue. He says, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good.” Jesus is talking about our heart. Now if our heart is set on Him and our desire is filled with the longing to be with Him and serving Him then what comes forth from our mouths will be good fruit. Our heart is on Him and our actions towards others will be inspired and motivated by Jesus Himself for we are in love with Him and it has become our desire to do His will. We desire Him to have complete control of all that we do.
Now if for a moment we take our eyes off of Jesus and we look to someone or something else to be our joy and excitement such as a wife or job or house or car or entertainment, then the fruit of that love will come out of our mouths and actions. Whatever it is that fills our hearts with the desire for it, that is what comes forth from our lives. Or if like Peter we step out of the boat in the middle of a raging storm to walk across the water to Jesus and we, like he did, take our eyes off of Jesus and look at the wind and the storm we will rapidly sink beneath the waves. How easy it is to be like Peter and to take our eyes off of Jesus. It is incredibly easy to look at the storm instead of at Jesus and lose all hope of rescue. Also, how easy it is for the Devil to use something we desire to tempt us to take our eyes off of Jesus to seek after it. (It is even more cunning when he uses things that are lawful to us by God’s rules.)
Our lives bear the fruit of what we desire and pursue. We must be careful that if there are things here on earth that we want, that we are careful not to set our affections on them more then upon Jesus. Our desires must be set on Him and for all other things we must wait patiently to receive them from His hand. He is the giver of all good gifts and will be faithful to give them to us, and as Hudson Taylor that wonderful missionary to China said, “If it truly is a good gift then God will give it and if it is not a good gift, why want it?”
We will bear the fruit of what our heart desires and if we truly desire Jesus there will be no lack of good fruit coming forth from our lives. If we turn from that desire for Him even for a moment we allow ourselves to plant seeds that will bring up bad fruit out of our lives. We must quickly turn from these things and fix our eyes back on Jesus and pray that He will uproot all of the bad seeds that we have planted that they may not grow in us. We must strive to keep the weeds pulled from the garden of our hearts that the soil may always have plenty of room to produce good fruit.
May God bless each one of us this week and may He fill our hearts with a renewed longing to be close to Him and to have our lives full of good fruit.