Summary: We are commanded to bear fruit but if we do not give our fruit away it will only rot.
Have you ever visited a vineyard? We often go to the vineyard in Vale. It is the Woodmill winery. As you drive into their location you are surrounded by acres of grape vines. If you go during the peak season they hanging full of clusters of grapes. I thought it would be fun to perhaps plant some grape vines in my back yard this year and maybe do some canning. But as I researched the art of growing grapes I found some useful information.
The first season you plant grape vines, you will not get grapes. The stalks, or canes, must be a year old and you must plant in multiples of two. The first year will be spent developing those canes by tying the strongest one to vertical stakes. The other cane needs to be cut off in the early spring. However. If neither cane has reached at least three feet tall, cut them both back and give them another season to establish themselves. So no grapes the first and possibly the second year.
After the cane has established itself, you will need to prune them in the winter months while they are dormant. You should prune them by 85 - 90 percent. Somewhere between the second and fourth years fruit should finally appear. So sometime between the fourth and sixth year of tending to these plants, I get grapes.
But I should wait and prune them one more year. Because the more I prune the better the grape. So it could take me as long as seven years to get a good crop of grapes. Through this process the vines should produce grapes for the next 50 - 100 years. In other words, long after I am gone. I will just go to the store and buy me some grape jelly.
Let’s discover the purpose of fruit. Fruit is very important to the diet of a human. They are a natural source of vitamins and minerals. Fruits help to improve the functioning of the digestive tract. They are an important part of a healthy diet for those who want to lose weight. They give ample energy and nearly every nutrient that your body needs to curb weight gain, without adding any unnecessary fat.
Fruits help you stay away from health complications like heat stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, heart ailments, and diabetes. They effectively fight skin disorders and promote healthy hair growth.
So now we know the purpose of the fruit. Let’s read
Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, ‘Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.’”
Before the flood, all animals were strictly vegetarian. It was after the flood that God told Noah that meat was acceptable to eat. But fruit continued to be and still is a staple of mankind’s diet. And being fruit, being fruitful, or having fruit is mentioned over 150 times in the Word. Colossians 1:10 says our “lives will produce every kind of good fruit” if we have a Christ-like walk.
But fruit is of no use if not shared by the fruit tree. Remember the scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” where the apple trees would not share their fruit with Dorothy and her companions? They insulted the trees to cause them to throw apples at them. If fruit trees were really that protective of their fruit then fruit would be of no benefit to us.
We lived in a house with an apple tree beside it. When it got tall enough, we put a swing underneath it. What we did not do was keep the falling apples picked up. As they rotted, they attracted bees. Soon we were not able to sit in the swing due to the threat of being stung. Fruit on the ground is not only useless but could lead to being painful.
As we produce good fruit, we are to share it with others. We are a valuable source to the spiritual well being of those around us. We are to be their nutrients by supplying them with love, patience, and kindness. We are to assist in their spiritual health by sharing our testimony both by word and example.
But if we do not share, then we are like the apple tree in my backyard. Our fruit lies there and rots. It could even be a source of damage to a young believer or seeker.
We are to offer our fruit and not throw them at someone. Too often we launch attacks at someone’s lifestyle. We bash them with the Word as if though hitting them hard enough will cause them to want to seek what we have. We can not launch our fruit at people and expect good results. We are to simply offer our fruit. And in doing so we can see pleasant results.