Friday, October 16, 2015

The Fruit of the Heart by Sarah P.

The Fruit of the Heart 
“You can identify them by their fruit, that is, the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit…Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” –Matthew 7:16-18, 20 NLT 
I don't know about you, but I’m definitely a fruit person! There's nothing quite like ripe strawberries or freshly-picked peaches. The awesome thing about fruit is that it is naturally sweet and flavorful; it not only tastes good, it’s also good for you! 
In this passage of Scripture, Jesus compares our actions to fruit. He tells us that how we live shows what our hearts are like, much how the fruit that a tree produces shows what kind of tree it is. If a tree produces figs, you can conclude that it's a fig tree. Similarly, if a person produces good actions and loves God, you can conclude that they’re a Christian 
Jesus also says that the condition of our hearts will always determine our actions. A sinful heart full of bad attitudes, fear, and doubt won't produce charitable actions, good attitudes, and godliness, just like a patch of brambles won't produce apples.  
Yet sometimes Christians fall. We revert back to our old sinful ways instead of relying on God’s grace. Like even good fruit can rot and get old, our actions can change from good to bad very quickly. In Romans 6:15-16, Paul tells us, “Since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.  
When we become Christians, we commit to following God’s will instead of sin. If we fall, we can ask God for a new heartone that will lead us to good things instead of sin. It is our duty to make sure our hearts are right with God. In order to keep producing good actions, we have to rely on His grace and His power to renew our hearts.  
What do your actions say about you?


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