It never ceases to amaze me how we can take things in nature and apply them to God’s Word and use them to illustrate many things in our Christian lives. I’ll tell you right up front, I have no idea how fruit trees can do that. Just know that a thought came to me about fruit this morning and so I’m going to do some investigating of it. Ready to take the Journey with me? Let’s go!
As far a what’s in the Bible about fruit, I think most Christians know many familiar quotes about fruit such as:
“every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” – Matthew 3:10
“You will fully recognize them by their fruits.” … “Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit” … “Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.”- Matthew 7:16-20
But what I want to do is see what we can learn from the actual fruit tree about our Christian walk. So that means I had to do some research on fruit trees.
Let’s start with Wikipedia
“A fruit tree is a tree which bears fruit that is consumed or used by people — all trees that are flowering plants produce fruit, which are the ripenedovaries of flowers containing one or more seeds.”
It’s interesting that Jesus used trees and fruit several times when talking about believers. Here we can see that as a believer, we have to bear fruit that can be consumed and used by people. Get this one – if you look up the word consumed, it’s really not such a delightful thing. O.o It means, “ To take in as food; eat or drink up; To waste; squander; To destroy totally; ravage; To absorb; engross.” Not too happy with some of those meanings. As a believer, I like the thought of people taking in and absorbing my fruits, but wasting, squandering, destroying, and ravaging it – no way! Yet, if we think about it, isn’t that exactly what happens many times. We do something nice, friendly (kindness) for someone, and they just take us for granted? We put up with something for a while (patience) and people think we are a push over? We are true (faithful) to our friends and they use us?
Here’s the thing. See the last part of that definition where it says fruit trees bear seeds? Each time someone devours our fruit, they are nourished. We may not like the feeling, but we are really nourishing those people. Who knows when the nourishment of that fruit will kick in and lead them to eternal life. By consuming our fruit, they will eventually use it. See the definition above says, consume or use. Use means: “To put into service or apply for a purpose; To conduct oneself toward; treat or handle.” It’s important to keep the end goal in mind at all times. Next time you feel used, maybe you really are being used by God and not the other person.
One of the most important things you have to take into consideration when growing fruit trees is the climate of where you live. Of course it is important that you decide what fruits you like to eat and then see if they will grow in your area. Trying to grow something outside of its area usually means no fruit if the tree does survive and if it does survive it will be attacked by a disease or pest that it has no defense for. ~ Natural Fruit Tree Care
Well now, what kind of climate are you living in? Where do you spend most of your time? If the fruit you want to grow won’t grow where you are, then, um, MOVE! See what it says up there? “Trying to grow something outside of it’s area usually means no fruit” … look at the next words … “if the tree does survive.” So you could be a living tree with no fruit. Just because you aren’t dead, doesn’t mean you’re producing anything. Saved? Great. The question is, are you fruitful? And the next part, “if it does survive it will be attacked by a disease or pest that it has no defense for.” Ever feel alone? Defeated? Discouraged? Look around you, what kind of environment are you planted in? The Bible is clear that those we hang out with will influence who we are.
Generally speaking try to give your fruit trees as much sunlight as possible.
Well, we know where I’m going with this one, don’t we? SONlight – that’s what a believer needs. Without sunlight – No fruit for you! (Said in the Soup Nazi voice from Seinfield.) We can’t be a loner believer. Just can’t do it. We need to spend time in the Word (God’s voice), in Prayer (Jesus’s Petition), and in Worship (Spirit’s passion). The only way the moon can be seen is by reflecting the sunlight. The only way a believer can be seen is by reflecting the Son’s light. That’s it. Otherwise, we are just vegetating in darkness.
The number of fruit trees you will be growing will greatly be effected by:
1..the size of your property
2..the size of your family (how many will eat it)
3..if you plan on selling them
4…the amount of work you are willing to do.
Another important aspect of how many fruit trees to grows is the requirements of the fruit trees themselves. Some require cross-pollination and therefore may need more then one of each variety in order to produce fruit.
Interesting. So how many seeds do you want to plant that produce? Look around yourself. How big is your property? Not your physical property? Property: “Something tangible or intangible to which its owner has legal title; The right of ownership.” When we become believers, we become heirs to the Kingdom of God. How much ownership do you take in that Kingdom? Do you live for the King only or do you live for yourself or the world? Did you just come in and sit at the gate and say, thanks for letting me in? Or did you push in further until you were able to sit next to the King?
What is the size of your family? Not your blood family, your spiritual family? Not what is the size of your church, the church is the body of Christ – it’s huge! But how many are you fellowshipping with? If you fellowship in front of a TV every Sunday, then the size of your family is 1. I know there are those who can’t get out, that is just a fact, and the fact is that they will not reach that many people either. But God may have called them to reach one person. If your fellowship isn’t very big, what are you doing to grow it? The reason growth in numbers is important is because with each new person (saved or unsaved) there is a potential to reach many more unsaved people. One person running around spreading seeds will take forever to plant a city. But get 10 people planting, and boom, trees are sprouting up everywhere. If you have a small fellowship, don’t move – MOVE! Don’t leave it, just start doing something to grow it.
Are you planning to sell them? Hmmm, kind of stumped with this one. Got an idea for this, write it in the comment area.
The amount of work you are willing to put into it. Yeah, another thing we don’t like. But truth is, we have to continually work on ourselves so that we can give others something good to work with. We can’t be trying to get others to grow fruit when we haven’t grown it ourselves. Work – it does a body good!
Cross pollination – we don’t have to do this alone. First, we don’t do much of anything when it comes to saving someone, only Christ can do that through the Spirit. The moment you think you did anything is the moment you’ve taken the Glory that should be given to God. All we do is put the seed in the ground and wait on God to do the rest. Second, we don’t have to plant these seeds alone. Having other believers around us helps in growing other good fruit bearing trees. It never hurts to reach out. Jesus never sent anyone out alone, why would we?
“When planting keep in mind how they will look when full grown and give them the room they need. …
A few things you should plan for:
1..Watering – How are they going to get watered? Think about installing a drip system instead of using over head watering. Uses less water, controls diseases and pests.
2..Fertilization Composting twice per year, Mulching twice per year or as needed and applications of organic fertilizers as needed. Natural sprayings should be done as needed.”
Yeah, ok, this one is a tough one. When we see someone become a believer, we want them to produce fruit over night. It just doesn’t always happen that way. We need to keep in mind where they are going, the steps that the have made, and then give them some room to grow. You didn’t become a fruit bearing tree overnight – why should they. Don’t soak them down, drip the Living Water onto them. Help them be in a place where they can receive. Don’t dump everything on them all at once, it takes time and care. If they need to be corrected, do it lovingly and sparingly as needed. Compost is “A mixture of decaying organic matter, as from leaves and manure.” So you have to let a few things go until there’s a mixture, then apply it as needed, not just cause you have it!
In addition, if someone comes to you and if feels like they are dumping some “manure” on you … maybe you need it. <grin> Take some time to let it sit and see if it’s something you need to sink into your soil in order to help you bear better fruit.
Pruning … Cut back all broken branches to good wood and eliminate broken tips. Remove any branches that are crossing or parallel (side by side less than 6 inches apart). You want your tree to acquire a wine glass shape; upward curving leaders on the outside (four or five is ideal) with the middle open for light penetration. ~ 3 Palms Nursery
None of like this part. I love the way they describe this. First, cut back all broken branches – are you broken some place? The Master Gardner is the only one that can heal you properly. Those broken branches will continue to rob you of fruit. If you have any thing in your life that isn’t lining up with the Word of God – REMOVE IT! It’s robbing you of fruit.
Look how they describe a healthy, fruit bearing tree: “upward curving leaders on the outside … with the middle open for light penetration.” Are you reaching up? Are you open for light? If not, it’s time for pruning – it’s not going to be pretty right now, but oh, wait until next season when you bloom and are full of good fruit!
Well, I think that’s a lot to learn from a fruit tree. Question is, now that you’ve learned it, will you use it?
Here are some fruits you should be looking at to start with. If you read through the Bible, there are many other “fruits” we should look at, but these are known as the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, if you are believer, you WILL have these. Why? Because you have the Holy Spirit. If you don’t have them, it’s because you are still in control and not the Spirit, they are there, you just aren’t letting them grow, maybe it’s time for some pruning. <holds out the clippers>