But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say of yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
God called Israel to live distinct and holy from other nations, primarily in the external matters of the Law. However, Jesus calls His people to a holiness that proceeds from the heart. Holiness is the fruit of a personal relationship with God. Jesus came as the fulfillment of the Law; therefore, New Testament living is based on actions that proceed from a transformed heart through a relationship with Christ. Matthew 7:18 describes our lives of obedience to Christ as trees bearing good fruit: A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. I have a vegetable garden that is beginning to show blossoms, the first sign of the fruit to come. As we spend time with the Lord in His Word and through prayer, we will begin to see the blossoming of our spiritual lives and ultimately the fruit will come.
The soil of our hearts needs to be tilled up, and the seeds of the life of His Word need to be watered in us as we seek to be holy and fruitful in Christ.
The Lord desires that we all bear fruit for His kingdom. We do that by living lives consistent with the standards that Jesus set forth in the Sermon on the Mount. The apostle Paul reminds us to put off our old self, corrupted by deceitful desires, and to be made new in the attitude of our minds by putting on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
How about you? Are you beginning to see the blossoms of Christ in your life? Are you beginning to see fruit? Ask the Lord to till up the soil of your heart and be faithful to meditate on His Word and obey. He will be faithful to produce a crop of new life in you. His life in you will draw others to Christ as well.
I desire to bear fruit in Your name. Create in me a clean heart, Lord. Destroy those things in me that are not holy. Lead me to draw from the springs of water in Your Word and produce the fruit of love, goodness, compassion and holiness.
In Jesus’ name, Amen