For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. (Luke 6:44 NASB)
This verse is so important that it needs a second look.
There is an interesting thing about fruit. The tree that bears the fruit doesn't eat it or see it. Only the people who see the fruit, pick the fruit, or handle the fruit have the opportunity to investigate and evaluate the fruit. So it is in our lives. We may be doing all sorts of things that we view as "good" and have no idea of the quality of the fruit or the lack thereof. We are dependent upon the Divine Fruit Inspector to bring conviction and direction when we are off track.
My friend Gene Merkl sent this yesterday, and I thought it was worth passing along:
"Sometimes fruit that appears to be acceptable is not really what it seems. This is scary fruit, especially for the tree which may not know the quality of what it is producing. This tree appears righteous, but in the end only God knows the difference." (Matthew 7:15-23)
The problem with this "scary fruit", the deceptive fruit, is much like the problem with the Pharisees in Jesus' time. They did many things that were right and many things that were good. Their motivation, however, was not right, and it turned a seemingly good deed into hay, wood, and stubble. The people who "inspected their fruit " saw good fruit, but they were mistaken. God saw their hearts and found them and their fruit less than acceptable.
There are two lessons to draw from this.
1) Only God is qualified to accurately inspect fruit because He sees the heart. We should be very cautious when we are tempted to inspect the fruit of others.
2) Self deception is easy and rampant. We would do well to seek God for confirmation concerning the fruit we bear. Is it acceptable to Him? That should be our only concern.
Today, pray that God will reveal to us the way He sees our fruit and that we will make any changes needed to make our fruit acceptable in His sight. Pray too that the fruit we bear will be used in the lives of our loved ones to draw them to Christ.
Link to last might's blog: