A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. -- Matthew 7:18
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Hidden in Christ
Christian fruit, whether in the form of good words, deeds, lifestyle, or character, is the visible manifestation. The life of the vine, the bramble, the apple tree, or the walnut is hidden from us. All we can see is what is produced, and it is right for us to judge the nature of that life based on the fruit, or the lack thereof, we find.
The love of Christ is readily available and freely offered to each and every one of us. Many of us, though, find it disturbing and even offensive (Romans 9:33, Galatians 5:11) that the love of God is given only in and through the Cross. We seem to be troubled by the idea that we cannot access God on our own terms. Those who built the tower of Babel said, [L]et us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar (Genesis 11:3). Too many times the bricks have been the bodies of our fellowmen and the mortar their blood. Even so, our towers fall.
Our human philosophies and systems, even religion can be like the leaves on the fig tree Jesus cursed (Mark 11:14). We are often drawn to those endeavors that look and sound appealing to the natural man, that have the appearance of life and wholeness and fruitfulness. We look at the cruelty of the tree upon which the Lord was crucified, and we see only death. Yet that is the Tree of Life. Its fruit is pure and sweet and true and gives us everlasting life. Here it is that we receive God’s love, and here it is that we begin to live in and by that love.
In Christ we abide, and we cannot keep ourselves from being fruitful. Not to say that we can’t get back in the flesh but there is really no reason for it. We may get so caught up in fear and worry and one thing and another that we forget who we are and our communion with the Lord. He may help us to remember. But this we know is always true: Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.