“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” – Matthew 7:16-20 (KJV)
Last week, we began a discussion on the importance of examining fruit. According to the Scriptures, our Heavenly Father wants us to be discerning fruit inspectors. Consider the process by which fruit is harvested from farms and orchards and makes its way to our grocery stores. Prior to inspecting fruit in the produce section of our local grocery chain, fruit should first be examined at the location where it is produced: in the field. Like a discerning farmer harvesting his crops, our Lord’s question provokes us to pay attention to what the harvester is gathering, whether it be grapes, thorns, figs or thistles. Just like in the house of groceries, in the house of God, there are grapes and figs as well as thorns and thistles.
Let’s take a closer look at these different types of products. A thistle is a prickly, wild plant that is hurtful to other plants. The Lord is employing agricultural terms as a metaphor to help us assess the people that we allow to influence us as well as those that we serve alongside. It is an unfortunate truth that in many spiritual or church environments there are prickly people hurting others in the church. They stick us with slander and pierce our hearts with self-willed agendas and pride. They promote perversity that inflames disunity and recruit for rebellion. And the thrust of their treason to God and the under-shepherd is to make followers that will follow them off their carnal cliff!
“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” - Acts 20:29-30 (KJV)
Therefore take this truth to heart: You will know them by their fruit. Foul fruit come from a foul heart. Faithful fruit comes from a faithful heart. The axe of the Almighty is always active and available to eradicate an evil tree and its evil fruit.
Join me next week when we will visit the faulty foundation and the faithful foundation.
Not a Sermon But a Thought,