Fruit or Roots

There is a lot said in the Bible about fruit, over 197 references, and 21 references to roots in the bible according to a search on Bible Gateway

A few I found interesting were Psalms: 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. and

Matthew 3:10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. and

John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. and

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

apple-tree-184373_1280 It is clear from these scriptures that fruit is an important part of our walk with God as Christians. But I think sometimes we get so focused on producing fruit that we forget about tending to the roots. It is easy to get caught up in efforts to produce fruit – showing love to others, being kind, being good, being faithful to service. But when we focus too much of our attention on bearing fruit we tend to neglect what helps us grow – the roots. We fail to realize that when we stay connected to the Spirit of God, the fruit comes naturally.

When you grow a tree that produces fruit, it takes time and effort. You don’t just put apples up there and hope that they attach to your tree and that more come. The fruit comes from the Apple tree. They don’t come separately. I think sometimes that we try to live our Christian lives this way. We try to bear our own fruit. In our own effort we try to love others. We try to serve others. We get so busy in our efforts we get disconnected from the Spirit, of whose fruit we are trying to bear. We try to fake it until we make it – I am not saying that sometimes we don’t go through those spells where we keep doing what is right even though we are not seeing results – those times we are usually in the barren season of growth, but we are still connected.roots-164054_1280

However, we can not, we should not, have to live our lives trying to constantly bear fruit – when we are constantly TRYING, we get wore out because our role is to remain in Him. When we forget to stay firmly planted in the Word, when we forget about praying to God and seeking our Living Water, our roots don’t grow. When the roots dry up below, the branches wither above (Job 18:16). Fruit doesn’t stay good on a withered branch.

We start trying to make our own fruit. We start trying to be independent. Fruit doesn’t grow without the vine and the branch. But the fruit – the fruit of the Spirit, that good fruit that God wants us to produce much of, that fruit that will help us prosper- it comes as a result of being firmly planted in God. It comes naturally as a result of being connected to the Vine.

John 15:5 states “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” We need the Roots of God to have the fruit we all desire to bear.

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