Get real!

On my kitchen table there is a bowl of apples. More than once a guest in my home has reached out and picked one up only to realize they are not real. They look authentic, even close up, but they are just decorative. They serve no fruitful purpose!  Let me ask a pointed question – are you a real Christian?  I invite you to think about spiritual reality, becoming a fruitful Believer.

I drove past a local orchard and stopped along the road to look over the trees covered in white blossoms, the promise of fruit to come. The farmer has done his work, pruning, clearing away the underbrush, but it is the LIFE in the trees that will ultimately bring on the apples and pears that are the purpose of that place.  My untrained eye could not discern what kind of trees they are, right now. In a few months the fruit hanging from the branches will be irrefutable evidence if they are pear, peach, or apple trees.

Are you a fruitful Christian?  

Jesus says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1-5, NLT)

IF we are intimately connected to Him, by faith, and ‘remain’ (abide) in Him consistently, the life that flows from Him will cause fruit to grow in us. What kind of fruit? “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT)  We need not stress, strain, or just try to ‘act like a Christian.’  Christ makes us alive and life shows, the development of character and faith coming into evidence from the inside out.

Ah friend, we do not grow into the likeness of Jesus with mental gimmicks, by adopting a self-improvement program, or even through working at being religious. Oh, yes we may be morally upright, manage to avoid grosser sins, but the nourishing fruit of the Spirit’s life does not flourish from human efforts.  In ourselves the best we can manage is an imitation, real looking on the surface perhaps, but without the nature of true fruit!  
People can spot the difference between a ‘religious person’ and one who is alive in the Spirit as surely as I am able to determine if an apple is a plastic imitation or the real thing in a moment’s time.  In our present world, with so much chaos and uncertainty, I want, more than anything, to be a person who bears the real evidence of Christ’s life, filled with spiritual fruit.

So I will ‘remain’ in Him, opening my mind and heart to Him, through out the day.  Yes, we will find ourselves pulled from that place near His heart, tempted, tested, and depleted in spirit. But, there is renewal when we recenter ourselves in His loving grace.

Meditate on these words of promise, dear Believer.  “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” (Colossians 1:9-10, NIV)  That’s reality!

___________

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought
Since Jesus came into my heart

Since Jesus came into my heart
Since Jesus came into my heart
Floods of joy o’er my soul
Like the sea billows roll
Since Jesus came into my heart

I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure
Since Jesus came into my heart
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure
Since Jesus came into my heart

I shall go there to dwell in that city I know
Since Jesus came into my heart
And I’m happy so happy as onward I go
Since Jesus came into my heart

Rufus H. McDaniel

© Words: Public Domain

Published by Jerry Scott

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a Dad to Jay, Sean, Christine, and Maribel. I am a Pastor at Faith Discovery Church. Jerry D. Scott

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