This morning, during my newly committed devotional time, I was reading the book of Matthew, Chapter 7 and I came across Matthew 7:15-16…
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them….”[7:15-16 NIV]
The New Living Translation version of Matthew 7:16 reads, “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.”
This part of the Scripture stood out to me “you can identify them by their fruit” and had me thinking:
What kind of fruit am I’m bearing?
Yes, in my heart and mind, I believe I am bearing good fruit, BUT when I take my eyes off of God and begin to gaze at my social media engagement or responses via my blog or lack thereof, like Jesus’ disciple, Peter, I lose my footing (Matthew 14:29-30).
Sometimes, while doing the work God has called me to do, I get tripped up. I begin to overthink, sink and question…
Am I bearing good fruit? And, if so, why isn’t the harvest overflowing?
As a Christian, a leader, a woman of God, from wherever you sit or however you define yourself, stopping to ask yourself this question: Am I bearing GOOD fruit? –can help you check your motives and help you to be more intentional about making moves that matter to you in this New Year, as opposed to doing busywork.
What is good fruit? Truth, connected to godliness and God’s word. It brings about growth and draws one (and others) closer to God.
As I researched Matthew 7:15-20, I discovered some simple guidelines on what it means to bear good fruit, God’s way…
Just to be clear, in the context of this Scripture, Jesus is warning us to be careful of following those who care more about serving their own interests as opposed to serving souls. The sheep in wolves clothing will ultimately lead souls away from an abundant, godly lifestyle and towards a self-serving, destructive lifestyle.
Therefore, to bear good fruit, God’s way is to…
- Build people vs. self-interest.
- Follow God’s instructions vs. self-understanding or the world’s view.
- Grow in love vs. going against of love.
Trust God to produce vs. forcing results.
Work for eternally gains (wholistic prosperity) vs. only financial profits.
In order to bear good fruit, you have to show up to partner with God, sow what you have and believe that your efforts are working out for the good.
In the end, reading Matthew 7:15-20 reminded me that patience and time are needed because the actual harvest is mysteriously God’s doing, not mine. All I can do is work, wait and watch. What about you? How has this blog post encouraged you to consider or rethink your view of bearing “good fruit” –especially in light of the New Year?
With Love + Purpose,
P.S. December’s 5 Day Fasting & Prayer Challenge was a blessing and is producing fruit. 😉 If you’d like to join us this Spring for the ‘Live in the Light’ 5 Day Fasting & Prayer Challenge, CLICK HERE to signup!