The Lord expects His children to bear fruit. A life without fruit takes up space instead of being an expression of God’s grace. Our heavenly Father is patient, but He draws a line in the sand of time and says to individuals, institutions, and nations, “Repent or lose my favor.” A soul or society that is barren will eventually see God move on to those governed by His principles. The fruit of faith flourishes in a heart cultivated by Christ.
What fruit is your faith producing? The fruit of peace comes after you plant the seeds of trust in Jesus. Patience’s fruit appears as you prayerfully water the seeds of God’s grace. The fruit of perseverance is produced when you fertilize God’s goodness with faith. Humility’s fruit ripens when your heavenly Father sows His loving-kindness into your soul. A harvest of good deeds—enough to fill a barn—occurs when death to self brings your love to life!
The mercy of the Lord does include a pruning process. Instead of immediately removing a fruitless faith, He gives it time to grow by the shears of suffering. Yes, pain is meant to purge us from unhealthy habits and remind us of our undeniable dependence on Christ. Our heavenly husband cuts back our branches diseased by sin. Jesus, our vine of spiritual nutrients, feeds our faith. Then the Holy Spirit nurtures the blossoms in our life, known as the fruit of the Spirit.
If the compassionate and thorough work of the Trinity is ignored, we are in danger of being cut off from the life-giving grace of the Father, Son, and Spirit. As believers we are commanded by Christ to spread the fertilizer of His mercy around the base of the unhealthy lives we influence. Yes, our service may smell repulsive to sinful souls, but our relentless love and forgiveness may facilitate fruit with the sweet aroma of salvation. Fruitful faith enjoys God’s favor.
Father, prune my unhealthy attitudes and actions, so I can serve others.