My wife and I have a cherry tree in our backyard.
It’s a nice enough tree, as trees go. It’s not too big, its roots aren’t intrusive, and it looks nice and creepy in the fall, as trees should. And yet, although the tree has several good things going for it, there is one flaw that my wife and I just can’t overlook. In fact, this flaw is so large, that we recently have been contemplating having it cut down.
What is this flaw, you ask?
It is a non-fruiting tree.
Sure, it has nice points, but we’ve been thinking of what else could go in that area, and really, the tree doesn’t serve a purpose right now. I feel like a non-fruiting cherry tree should really just be called a “tree”. The name “cherry” infers a purpose, doesn’t it? A cherry tree produces cherries, right?
I wonder, if we applied this same logic to Christians, how many of us would be “non-fruiting” trees? How many of us would not be fulfilling our purpose?
Let’s look to John 15:1-5
“’I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’”
Christians are meant to bear fruit. We are meant to produce for the Kingdom. When we do not, we are not serving our purpose. And if we aren’t serving our purpose…well…what’s the point? If we aren’t trying to grow the Kingdom in some way, growing the Church, serving in some way, making use of the talents God gave us, then what is the purpose of having those talents? We are meant to bear fruit.
Of course, the question often comes, “how do I do that”? Well, Jesus makes that clear in verse 10, “’ If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.’”
Do what Jesus said. Do what Jesus did. Just like a branch that’s been cut off from a tree can’t grow new fruit, there’s no way that we can bear fruit apart from Jesus.
That’s something worth repeating, just in case you didn’t get it the first time.
Just like a branch that’s been cut off from a tree can’t grow new fruit, there’s no way that we can bear fruit apart from Jesus.
Remain in Him. Do as He did. Bear fruit. Otherwise…what’s the point?