I have something in my treasure chest that you will recognize today.
This small limb is from a very specific tree in my back yard. Do you know what kind of tree it is? Try and guess.
This limb is from an apple tree.
Every year this APPLE tree gives Vickie and me a lot of ORANGES. Yummy! Big, juicy ORANGES!!!!
No!? You don’t think my APPLE tree gives me ORANGES every year?
That’s right! Apple trees only give apples!!!!
Okay … every year this apple tree gives Vickie and me a lot of APPLES!
What do you think we do with these apples? Let me show you.
Do you see this jar of apple butter? I L*O*V*E apple butter! Vickie makes enough apple butter every year so I can have it until the next year – she also makes enough to give away.
Do you see this jar of apple sauce? Vickie does L*O*V*E apple sauce! Vickie makes enough apple sauce every year so we can have it until the next year – she also makes enough to give away.
If this apple tree did not make apples it would not be a very good apple tree would it? Nope … I expect it to give apples and we even prune it and tend it so that it will continue to give apples.
Did you know that your relationship with Jesus is a lot like this apple tree’s relationship with Vickie and me? It is. God expects us to grow spiritually and as we do the Bible says we will show signs of “spiritual fruit.”
Listen to what the Bible says:
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)
The Bible teaches us that growing Christians give off fruit that helps us act and “look” like Jesus. Just as my apple tree does not give me oranges but only apples so spiritual growth means we will show evidence by being people who act like our Savior.
I am going to give you each an apple today. Don’t eat it during church but maybe after lunch your parents will let you eat it. When you do you can also take the opportunity to thank God for helping you grow and act like Jesus!