Apple Trees

'For there is no good tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For people don't gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks. Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things which I say?" Luke 6:43'46 WEB.

We find it humorous when we get cut off in traffic by a rude driver, and they have a Christian fish symbol on their bumper. Less amusing is that repairman who charges you twice what they should have. Or they take your money and run, leaving the job half done. They usually put a cross on their business card and invoices, so you are supposed to forgive them for ripping you off.

Still, I am a sucker for all things Jesus and try to support the body of Christ. Recently we hired a "Christian" company to do some work for us. I chose them over their competition mostly because they had a scripture on their ad. That was my fault. They witnessed to us about Jesus the whole time they were here and invited us to visit their church. But at the end of the day, they promised to be back the following morning and asked us for a check. We never saw them again, and they wouldn't return our calls. So we had to hire their competition to finish the job we had paid them to do.

It is sad to say that in our life, we have been ripped off more by "Christians" like this than anyone else. When I was young, I preferred to do business with people in the church and sought them out. But now, when I see a cross on a business card, I grow concerned. Three times in the last year, we have been burned by people who witnessed to us about Jesus. Brothers and Sisters, this should not be.

What I am trying to say is that our actions speak louder than our words. Sometimes we are like a lemon tree that repeatedly shouts, "I AM AN APPLE TREE!" But we have never produced any apples, only lemons. Jesus said you will know a tree by the fruit it bears.

Our actions show the world we are followers of Christ, not our words or appearance. Who you are when you are put under pressure is who you really are. It merely brings what is in our heart to the surface. When His pressure comes, our mouth always betrays us and reveals what is in our hearts. We should say what we mean and mean what we say. Jesus said,

"He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? If you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?" (Luke 16:10-12 WEB).

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 WEB).

Small things are important to God, and often the things which seem important to us are small to Him. It is the little things that make a difference in life. Sometimes just a little patience, a smile, or taking a bit less for yourself is the difference between producing apples and being barren.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me produce fruit in my life and guide me into all that You have for me. Forgive me for the things I have done wrong. Have patience with me, and help me to have patience with others. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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