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How Does Your Garden Grow? - Bearing Fruit in Season.

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: How Does Your Garden Grow? - Bearing Fruit in Season.


How Does Your Garden Grow? - Bearing Fruit in Season.

All of my favorite bloggers, Jeff Goins, who encourages me to write, Jon Acuff who encourages me to dream, Alan Knox, who encourages me to study, are all men who keep me grounded and sane. 

I am sure there are more blogs out there that would rock my world, but right now, much like I fixate on a praise and worship CD I like, I have zeroed in on them. These are my gurus, my mentors, and I have never met them. 

O don't get me wrong, we have had pithy banter via Twitter, I occasionally “like” what they say on Facebook, and I blow up the comment sections of their blogs, I have even written a guest blog for one of them before, but the fact is, they don’t know me from Adam. 

How then, can they mean so much to me? 

Because they are producing fruit in season, and I am starved! 

“In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” 

Jesus was not just having some random temper tantrum here. The Bible says that even when he got angry, he never sinned. He did however have a need at the moment he saw a tree: Jesus wanted to “get his grub on” as we say in the South United States; he was hungry! So what are the lessons to be learned here? 

First, let’s look at this from the tree’s perspective: 

I am a tree. I normally bear fruit for people to eat. These fruits hold seed that make more trees. Right now, out of laziness and/or lack of focus on my purpose, I have no fruit right now. I am still pretty. I still give shade. People still think everything is fine when they don’t look too carefully. It is only on closer inspection that someone may see my lack of fruit. It isn’t a problem…like I said; at least I am still pretty… 

This tree has the wrong attitude, and like many of us, this tree thinks that foliage, the outward appearance, is all that matters. It has a purpose. It even knows its purpose, because it is called a tree and not a sapling, so at some point it must have reached maturity and bore fruit before. 

Yet still, this tree is lacking. The only thing it has to show for the rain and sun God has poured into it is greenery. It didn’t allow the sun and rain to soak in and do the work God intended: bring forth fruit from the inside out. 

So now, a barren tree with pretty green leaves has nothing to provide anyone else when people come by to eat. Bad place to be in. 

All of the sudden, I don’t want to be the tree. I don’t want to be the vapid Christian that thinks ‘as long as my outside looks good, the inside doesn’t really matter that much’. I don’t want to be fruitless. 

Now let’s look at it from Jesus’ perspective: 

I am so tired, and there is so much to do still. The time is getting closer, so I have to go, go, go! I will grab breakfast on the road, no time to lay about! Gotta be about my Father’s business! The morning commute is long, and I need to grab a bite. There is a fig tree. I love figs. Mom used to pick these for me when I was a kid! What? No figs? But I am hungry and I need to eat. I don’t really want to go to temple and take on yet another batch of Pharisees on an empty stomach! It is fig season. There should be figs! “No more fruit for you!” 

Jesus has a purpose too. He came to testify to the truth, that He is the son of God, and that God’s love was fulfilled through him. That is a big message. He had three years of hard work behind him and he was nearing the culmination of everything he had worked for. Stopping to get a bite to eat should not be a monumental task; it should be simple and straight forward. Now, he sees there is no fruit, now he sees closely. Foliage was not enough to sustain him on his way. 

Have you been like Jesus? Busy with the tasks before us, we don’t like to sweat the small stuff, because it alters our course if we do. 

Ever been in a place where you were hungry for a fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, gentleness, meekness, patience, goodness, and kindness only to get a blank stare, or worse yet, judgmental attitudes, and “church speak” from someone you came to for spiritual food? Don’t you hate that? When you see a “tree” that is all greenery and no fruit, have you spoke up and said- this is not right! Jesus did. 

By their fruit (or lack thereof) you will know them. 

Now let’s look at this from the disciples’ perspective: 

DUDE! Man this gig with Jesus is so stinking cool! Just the other day, he raised my homeboy Lazarus from the dead! After four days! Man, he must be God! Who would have thought I would get to be with the movers and the shakers for such a time as this! He is so cool. I have to watch him like a hawk though! The other day, he just stopped in the middle of a crowd and let a bunch of kids crawl all over him. Judas was just getting ready to take an offering too. We needed that! There are a lot of mouths to feed. How many fish and loaves can he make? Wait, he is stopping. Cool, figs. Need some fiber in my diet. What? NO figs? Okay let’s move on…whoa! Did that just happen? Man, the power of Jesus is amazing, he just speaks and trees obey! 

Robert Dinero "Meet the Faukers" Still
People are watching: all the time. Will they see fruit and provision for others in our lives, or will they see nothing but greenery? Will they see someone who speaks up for God’s way, which is bearing fruit in season, and feeding the people around us, as we go about our Father’s business or will they see a lazy, unfocused tree trying to “fit in” by looking like a Christian, but denying the transforming growing power of Christ? 

I don’t know about you, but I am hungry. I am hungry for God, and the things of God, and the Ways of God. I am regularly eating from other people. These “trees” bear different fruit in season. I am able to gain life, knowledge, and sustenance from them, while I do the work I was called to do. 

Questions: Are there people (everyday people or ministers you may love to listen to) in your life that you love to “pick” from? Have you ever gone to someone hoping for some advice or teaching to help get you through a hard time, and there was nothing but greenery? How did you handle that? Share your answers and comments below. I want to know what you think about this scripture. How does it apply to you? Do you see more in it than talked about here? Please share with us. 

Be blessed and be a blessing and remember that grow is a verb.

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