We are Known by the Fruit We Produce

Jesus had healed a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute. Seeing the man speaking and now with sight, the Pharisees claimed that Jesus healed by controlling demons, thus He was a blasphemer against the Holy Spirit. The sin is actually on the Pharisees’ because they attributed to Satan what was accomplished by the power of God. The willful and persistent rejection of God and his commands is a sin is committed today by unbelievers who reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit and thus produce trash. What comes out of a person (thoughts and actions) is what defiles a person. So we see in this story below, Jesus producing good fruit in the healing, and the Pharisees becoming angry at the “life-giver” rather than celebrate the rebirth of a man made whole again.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37 ESV)

A Christian is told to turn the other cheek, or the carry a load two miles instead of the Roman mandated one mile (Matthew 5:39-41). We are told to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44). These are hard to do actions, but this sets us apart from a world that sees the Christian action as weakness. That’s okay; we are in this world but we are not of this world (John 17:16). I follow my leader, Jesus, who was far from being weak. He, on the evening of His arrest, was approached by 200 mighty Roman soldiers, the fiercest fighting men in the world at that time, asking for Jesus, He answered their question by saying “I am Jesus”, and they all fell away (John 18:3-6). We, wishing to be “useful wood” by following the footsteps of Christ, what do we do when the cultural “trash” really becomes offensive to us? Take Larry David, of his ridiculously unfunny HBO show, who urinated all over an image of Jesus Christ on his show, as was told by Doug Giles in his article on October 31, 2009, what do we do with such an act? I know many Christians who would be praying for Larry David to repent and be saved. Which person then is being the most useful, the one who prays for the salvation of another or the destroyer of goodness?

What the Good Wolf Brings You

You are ignorant in your unbelief; it is because you simply don’t know the truth. I know nothing of heart surgery; I am ignorant when it comes to heart surgery. We all fall ignorant somewhere, but what I share with you now is truth. I have personally grown to know this fact: Jesus Christ is the one and only LORD and by His mercy and saving grace, you can be saved for all eternity if you will admit that you are a sinner, repent from your old ways, and accept Jesus as your LORD and Savior, dedicating your life to Him. You will find a beginning. A beginning of Christian growth, and as your roots sink deeper into the fertile ground, your tree will take root and start to produce fruit. As you grow in your faith in Christ Jesus, your old self will pass away more and more, soon to become only a bad distant memory to gage contrast; a newness of life will take hold of you as it did Paul. Of this change, Jesus had this to say:

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”  (John 15:8-11 ESV)

This joy is available to you right now. Invite Jesus into your life, turn from any destructive behaviors, seek a body of nearby Christians, and tell them you wish to know more of the love that Jesus has for you. You must feed on this new found forgiveness and love, and battle against the old self. It is like the Two Wolves:

“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandchild about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My child, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’ The grandchild thought about it for a minute and then asked grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’”   (author unknown)

We all want what the good wolf brings to us. This goodness can only come from one source; it only comes from having a close relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the fertile ground into which you must plant your tree; get your nourishment here.