From The Heart

Publish date: 03/12/2000

"For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Luke 6:43 NKJ


The fruit a tree bears is a direct reflection of the condition of the tree itself – good tree: good fruit – bad tree: bad fruit. Fruit cannot grow by itself, without a tree. Nor can a tree produce good fruit when it is in bad shape. You could say that the fruit is not the problem, it is the evidence of the problem. If you are unhappy with your fruit, you will have to do something with your tree.


"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5 NKJ


Jesus is the trunk of the tree, God is the Gardener, and we are the branches. If we want to bear good fruit we will have to hook up with Jesus and allow God to water and prune us, too. We must live in His presence. We must live in His Word and His Word must live in us. The fruit we bear is not a result of our own efforts. We don’t work to produce good fruit, but we work to press in to the Lord and to seek His face. The fruit is produced as the Word and the Holy Spirit are allowed to do their work in our hearts and our lives.


I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:16-21 NKJ


Galatians 5:19 in the NAS translates “the works of the flesh” as “the deeds of the flesh” and the NIV translates it as “the acts of the sinful nature”. The works (deeds) of the flesh – acts of the sinful nature – are the manifestation of sin that is allowed to grow unchecked. Sin grows from the fleshly, carnal nature like weeds. It chokes our lives and destroys everyone and everything around us.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-25 NKJ


When the Spirit of God is allowed to work in us as we yield to the Spirit and walk in the Spirit, then the fruit of the Spirit becomes manifest in our lives. Like sap in a tree, we do not see how the Spirit is moving and working in people, but as the fruit is produced and grows on their branches, we are seeing God at work in their lives. You cannot fake fruit. The manifestation of fruit is a very honest reflection of a person’s heart. The fruit of the Spirit is sweet and delicious to us.  Like good, healthy, delicious fruit growing on a fruit tree, the fruit of the Spirit is not only a reflection of our heart, but it also blesses us and all those who are around us.