When God created Adam and Eve, along with the animals, He commanded them all to be fruitful and multiply. We understand this to mean to procreate, to have children, to populate the earth. But I believe He meant more than that. What did He intend for them to do by saying, “Be fruitful”?
God had placed fruit trees in the Garden of Eden, and they could eat from any of them, except for 1. So they were familiar with fruit. It tasted really good to them, and was a main source of their food supply.
So when God said to be fruitful, this must have conjured up an image of a delicious taste in their mouth; juicy, refreshing, and satisfying. He also wanted them to be like fruit trees that grow an abundance of fruit, so He meant for them to have a lot children too, and help them grow.
Notice He didn’t tell the plants or the trees to be fruitful, yet they still are. That is because they are designed to do His bidding without question. The whole earth does as it is required, except for man. We were given this thing called free will. We must choose to obey His command, His desire of us being fruitful, of bearing fruit.
Jesus told a parable about a fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit. The owner had wanted to eat figs for 3 years, but his tree never produced any. So he told his gardener to chop it down. The gardener asked to spare it for 1 more year so that he could fertilize it and get it to produce. The owner agreed. It must have worked, because Jesus ended the parable there. This relates to us: we must bear fruit, or our life is worthless.
The phrase ‘bearing fruit’ means to yield positive results, to succeed, to be effective.
So how can we bear fruit? First, we have to know and grow in the Lord.
John 15:4-5 says, “Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing.”
Second, we need the Holy Spirit to be in our lives. When he is, we will bear fruit, and it will be good.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
We struggle with every one of these DAILY! Especially that pesky one called patience.
The great news is that the Creator, God, the King of Kings, our Lord Jesus, IS all of those fruits. He forgives us out of love, with joy, patiently, showing kindness and acting in goodness, faithfully and gently, and definitely, most definitely with infinite self-control.
With our own strength, we cannot bear fruit. Ask Him for help today with the one area you are struggling with, because He is the master of them all! Become fruitful in your life, and bless the lives of those around you. Your actions will be multiplied, by others paying it forward. Then your fruitfulness will be a good taste in the Lord’s mouth, and in the lives of those He puts you in contact with.
Food for thought: Which fruit of the Spirit comes easily from you? Which one is the hardest to grow and share?
Fun fact: An artist named Sam Van Aken has created a unique tree called the “Tree of 40 Fruit”, a real tree capable of producing a variety of 40 fruits. He did this through a process called grafting. He began designing them in 2008, and there are now over 100 of these trees across the country.
Photo by: Samuel Zeller – Grapes