“You ever been to Fred’s Fruit Farm over on the other side of Weston Mountain?” Stan asked me one morning.
“Can’t say that I have?” I replied. “You?”
“Oh, yeah,” he said, “that’s one of our favorite places for getting fresh-off-the-tree apples. You haven’t tasted apple pie until you taste one made with Fred’s apples!”
“And,” Stan continued, “Fred is not only a good orchardist, he is an excellent example of what Jesus was talking about when He was He was describing someone who bears fruit with perseverance.”
“Fruit in his Christian walk?” I asked. “Is that what you mean?”
“That’s it,” he replied. “I’m not certain I have ever known anyone quite like Fred. He’s kind of like the Johnny Appleseed of spiritual fruit. Everywhere he goes, everything he does, the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in and through him.”
“How does that happen?” I asked. “Why with some Christians and not with others?”
“Seems to me,” Stan replied, “that Jesus pretty much laid it out in the last part of His parable of the sower.”
“Well,” Stan said, “after Jesus described what happened with the first three sowings of the word of God, He got to the good ground or soil. This is where Fred fits in and why he is like he is.”
“In what way?” I asked.
“First requirement is to hear the word of God. If you don’t hear it, there’s no chance of anything else happening. As well, there’s a requirement of how, or with what, you hear.”
“Don’t all people hear with their ears?” I asked.
“Not in this instance,” Stan said. “Jesus said that they need to hear with ‘an honest and good heart’.”
“Oh,” I replied, “open the ears of my heart!”
“And make sure it’s honest and good,” Stan added. “As well, there is the requirement to hold fast the word of God. In my mind, that means to hold on to and live the word of God. Again, this is Fred, who he is, and why the final step is manifested in and through him.”
“What’s the final step?” I asked.
“Bear fruit with perseverance.”
“Like his trees?” I said. “Bear fruit and keep on bearing?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan replied.
“And when do I get some of this famous apple pie?” I asked with a smile.
“When you stop by with the vanilla ice cream!” Stan replied. “How about this afternoon?”
Bible verses to consider:
And the seed in the good ground these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. Luke 8:15.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the truth of your word that lays out how to have your word bear fruit in and though me with perseverance. Please help me to hear your word, to have a heart that is good and is receptive to your word, and to hold your word fast so it does not slip away from me and keep me from bearing fruit exactly as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: How would you describe “good soil” that will result in bearing fruit with perseverance? Do you see yourself as fitting within what Jesus said about how to produce fruit? Why or why not? If you sense some changes may be appropriate for you to produce fruit with perseverance, how is that going to happen? Is that what you would like to happen? Why or why not? What about the fruit of the Spirit? How are you doing with manifesting that fruit in your life on a consistent basis?