Where’s the Fruit?


Some people have a “green thumb.”     They can stab a dead stick into the ground and it will be a flourishing tree within a month.     They grow gardens that can feed the whole neighborhood with everything from spinach to pumpkins.     Not so at my house.

I have a totally “black” thumb.    Not just a brown thumb, but BLACK.    I am one of ttomato-planthose people who can kill plastic flowers.     So imagine my glee when I bought some tomato plants and they actually grew. …  and grew ….  and grew.

This is not a Jack and the Bean Stalk story.     I have tomato plants that are over six feet tall.     Amazing!    Know what else is amazing?   There is not a single tomato on any of these beautiful leafy green trees that smell like tomatoes.

There are blossoms; lots of blossoms.    But after singing songs to them and trying to help pollinate them, there isn’t even a HINT that a tomato will ever appear on those lush branches.

My tomatoes remind me of some people that Jesus talked about.

A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.   Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.     So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.    Matthew 7:18-20 (HCSB)    

But my tomato-less plants are producing NO fruit.  Do you know people like that?     God planted them here and they exist, sometimes with flowery show, but they produce no fruit for God’s kingdom.     That is because they do not have the Lord within them.

  “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.   John 15:5 (HCSB)    

 However, if you will receive Him, you will be fruitful in His Kingdom.     He will use the willing.

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.
My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples. John 15:7-8 (HCSB)    
So where do you rank in God’s garden?     Are you like my tomato plants that are huge and leafy but bear nothing of value?     Or are you the fruit-laden garden of God that produces many crops for His Kingdom?

Remember, you will be known … and judged … by the fruit you produce.

About Keith A. Rothra

Keith serves as pastor of Judson Community Baptist Church in Longview, Texas, and teaches political science at LeTourneau University and Kilgore College. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children and six grandchildren.

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