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fruitless trees...

I have 2 peach trees that are beyond beautiful when they bloom...the pink flowers are stunning and every year that they bloom I can hardly wait to see the fruit starting to grow...and each year, I am disappointed when the fruit starts, then brown rot takes over and the peaches wither and die, leaving me to trek to the nearest grocery store to fulfill my need for a juicy peach in the dead heat of summer. For years all I have wanted is for it to bear I can see that it is more than just a deceivingly beautiful tree for a few weeks and then just dead branches waiting to be cut back. Last year, I contemplated cutting it down, but decided to let the old peach tree live, and blossom, and continue to give me false hope.

As my night was coming to a close a few days ago, I sat reading Luke 13 and came to verses 6 - 9. A tree. No fruit for three years. The vineyard owner is ready to cut it down. But the vineyard worker sticks up for the tree and asks for 1 more year to dig up around it and fertilize it.

The tree - us. The vineyard owner - God. The vineyard worker - Jesus. How many times have we appeared beautifully put together, blossoming even, but have failed to produce fruit? Have failed to live a life that is strikingly different from the unbeliever? Have believed that we are bearing fruit, when in fact, the limbs hang useless? I have been there, and there are seasons I feel like I go back there. But Jesus, in His great grace and mercy, intercedes for us, not leaving us to our own resources, but offers help...He digs around our base, he fertilizes through His word, he gives us the things we need, if only we would believe. You see, we don't have endless time here on earth - God's judgment is very real and very near. In fact, in Luke 3:8-9 Jesus previously spoke of a fruit tree, and the axe that was waiting to strike the root. Every breath is a chance to bear do the things that separate us as His and His alone. Isn't it ironic, and even more so beautiful, that the fruit in Genesis (and our sin) was what separated us from God, and the fruit of the believer (starting with the work of Gods son on the cross) is what makes us His? The urgency we should have in producing fruit is paramount, because it is this tree that gives glory to the Creator...that brings us to walk the narrow path....because narrow is the way, and there are few who find it.

"...the one who remains in Me and I in him produce much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples." John 15:5, 8


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