Okay, it's time to pile into the truck," Dad announced. "We are going to the orchard to pick apples." The children shrieked with delight.
Thoughts of Mom's homemade applesauce and apple pie filled their minds as they scurried around to find their baskets to fill with big, juicy apples—red, green and golden.
Can you imagine the children's surprise when, after all those hours of picking apples and anticipating what those apples would become, they cut into the apples and found they were all rotten in the middle? They looked so good hanging on the trees!
Psalm 1:1-3 tells us that a person who keeps from walking on the path of evil and walks in the way of the Lord, is like a tree planted by a river that bears good fruit.
Our character is the fruit of our life. How we respond to the things that happen to us, how we treat others we come in contact with, the words we use and the things we choose to do with our time, are all fruits that show what kind of tree—or person—we are.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:18 that it is impossible for a good tree to produce bad fruit, and also that it is impossible for a bad tree to produce good fruit. Verse 20 goes on to say, "By their fruits ye shall know them."
When we choose Jesus as the foundation of our principles and invite Him into our hearts to live His life through us, the fruit we bear can only be good. We won't want to do things that are displeasing to Him. This doesn't mean that we will be free from mistakes, but the direction of our lives as we grow—planted near Jesus, the River of Life—will show we are connected to Him.
Some fruit may look good on the outside, but once it is cut into, you may find that the core is rotten. When things don't go your way, what does the core of your character reveal? Is it possible that you might need to transplant your tree closer to the River of Life?
When Jesus comes to harvest His fruit, what kind of fruit will your life be bearing? Make it your goal today to drink from the River of Life and bear the fruit of His Spirit.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22, 23)
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