Check the Fruit

[Jesus said,]“For there is no good tree that brings forth rotten fruit; nor again a rotten tree that brings forth good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For people don’t gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks.”       Luke 6:43-45 (WEB)

A wonderful man of God, Rev. Steve Hill, said one night that sometimes God give “Twinkie messages” and sometimes they are “brussel sprout messages”. I happen to be one of the few who actually likes brussel sprouts but I get the point. So this is a warning that this is a brussel sprout message God spoke to me about in the last 24 hours.

The sermons I have heard most often that use this Scripture as the foundation are about my personal life. My life is known by what I say and how I live my life. It is the good that God places in me that overflows out of me and on to others. It is choosing to be a branch in His vine (John 15) that will bring a harvest that will flow to others. Check the fruit in my life! Is it good fruit? (Galatians 5:22) Is my focus on ‘worry’, criticism, and despair or is it on the good? (Philippians 4:8)

But here is the next layer. I believe God wants me to use the same ‘check’ on those to whom I spend time. Is there an overflow of good fruit from those that I call friend? I should be sowing good seeds into my friends but they, too, should be producing good fruit. Friends, people I hang around, should not be dragging me down. This can be difficult to live. It may bring some hard choices. It may mean that I do not have many close friends. Jesus didn’t. It wasn’t because He was God and didn’t need them. I think He was setting the example. He had many who followed Him (John 6), but He had only 12 that He spent a lot of time. And only three saw the extraordinary and miraculous: Transfiguration, the raising of the dead girl, the intimate prayer in the garden. And it is recorded that Jesus spent a good deal of time with only one. The Father.

Choose friends, those that are companions and confidants, wisely. Seek God’s wisdom for who He wants in your life. When I committed my life and followed Jesus, I had two friends that were not good for me. God did not tell me to abandon them or never speak to them. I just could not go to movies and bars like we always did. They did not want to change. They did not like it that I did. God sent me friends that He picked. They are a treasure. My old friends come to my mind sometimes. I pray for them to find the Best Friend that I have.

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