I've had several thoughts to blog about recently, but having a conversation with a friend yesterday about babies brought these thoughts to mind.
My friend asked me yesterday how you could tell if a baby was sick. She's unmarried and has no children of her own, but yet she's great with my kids! :) I told her that you could tell when the baby acts differently than normal. For instance, if the baby usually has good eating patterns and suddenly cries while eating, the baby might have a sore throat. If the baby has a fever, that is a definite sign that something is wrong. If a baby is sick, there will definitely be an outward, external sign that something is amiss and it needs some attention.
As I pondered this conversation, I realized that our Christian walk is the same way. If a person says that they are a believer, but there are no external signs, are we to believe that they are truly a child of God? As Christians, we are to outwardly produce fruit and therefore be known as believers. John 15:8 says "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." We have external signs that we are believers when we bear fruit. What kinds of fruit? Honesty, kindness, graciousness, faith, hope, trust, generosity, openness...love.
Of course, we are not to judge a person's heart and the sincerity about their conversion. That is God's job. I have myself to worry about without taking on someone else's Christian walk!
I don't know about you, but my fruit has been scarce recently. My grapes are all dried up, my apples are rotten, my bananas are smushy. I don't even think I have enough fruit to make a fruit salad! However, I do know that I can't produce fruit apart from the Vine. And I know that while the Gardner cuts off vines that are barren and produce zero fruit, He will prune me to produce more fruit for Him. Pruning is hard and it hurts! But in the end, the aroma and taste of sweet fruits will be worth it! Read John 15:1-8.
How are your fruits? Is it time to let God do some cutting and pruning? Do you have enough fruit for fruit salad? Is your bowl big enough just for you or is there enough to share with God?
Dear Father...please help me to be aware when my fruit is going bad; when there aren't any outward, external signs of my walk with You. Show me where branches of selfishness and pride need to be cut off and cast away and where living, thriving branches need to be pruned to bear fruit pleasing to You. Cutting and pruning is hard work, sometimes it causes blisters! But knowing what the end result will be will make it worth the time and effort. Thank You for Jesus. In His name, Amen.
Worth it all...