8/24/2008

Spiritual Fruit

The following is the substance of some ministry at Stillwater Quarterly Meeting in Eighth Month 2008.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing… Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15, verses 4, 5, 7, 8

Jesus lived in an agricultural community, and many of His parables relate to the Creation. If His time had been 2008, Jesus might have compared us to an html document with missing closing tags, something that would probably be easier to understand for most Americans than husbandry.

There are many references to fruit. We are known by our fruit (Matthew 7:20). A good tree (heart) bringeth forth good fruit (Matthew 7:17). The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Bearing fruit brings glory to God.

There are important parallels to spiritual fruit and physical fruit. Sometimes in conversation, someone will say something with the spiritual meaning of “Hey, come and taste this persimmon. Thee has not had a persimmon like this one!” Thee can hold it and know it by its skin and shape. When biting into it, its flesh provides thee spiritual nourishment. Inside are the seed. Natural seed hold the DNA of the tree, but spiritual seed have the DNA of Christ Jesus. Spiritual seed point the recipient to Christ, not to the bearer of the fruit.

After eating a spiritual fruit, thy soul will hunger for more of this refreshment. If faithful, thou canst experience what is described in the scriptures as being engrafted onto the spiritual tree. Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

When it pleases the Lord to graft thee onto the spiritual tree (see John 15 quoted above), He will help thee to produce spiritual fruit for others. It is the xylem and phloem of Christ that works through thee to produce fruit. We often produce such fruit without even knowing it.

However, when we try to take the credit, the fruit fails us – and we fall off the spiritual tree like an old dead limb. But don’t despair – learn from thy mistake and lay hold again on the eternal life He has for thee. Sometimes falling from a tree will make it possible for thee to return to the True vine with renewed vigor. The Lord is not done with thee yet, so don’t lose heart - go ask for another of those special persimmons! His exciting work still awaits thee – don’t miss it!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This speaks to my heart, Friend Chronicler. In worship this morning I felt multiple temptations pulling at me: "go register to vote so that you can help affect the outcome of the November election" - "go do such-and-such so that you'll have enough money to retire" - "go say such-and-such so that your children will do what you want them to" - and I saw, as if over the heads of all these false advices, that my heart's desire was to have no will but Christ Jesus's will to do His Father's will. I rested for a while in that heart's desire, and it felt very sweet, though also astringent, like tears I wanted to shed. Rather like a persimmon, I thought later, when a Friend directed me to thy blog entry. O that the Lord might turn us entirely from corrupt trees into good trees, whose DNA is His, whose nature is to give only good fruit to a world whose cries of hunger we hear.

Thy Friend John

Kay said...

Here is a very old, comforting exhortation on bearing fruit:

www.gracegems.org/Philpot/spiritual_fruit.htm

I trust that you will be as blessed by it as I was this morning.