Fasting Devotional Day Twenty-One: Saturday, January 22, 2022 Text: Matthew 7:15-23
By Greg Dickerson
This passage reminds me of early on in our first home. I was in our backyard, and our neighbors had this big orange tree. Hanging on our side of the fence were these large bright oranges that looked amazing, and if you shook the limbs hard enough, a couple would fall to the ground. Do not worry, I confessed and asked forgiveness later, so having "found" oranges in our yard, I decided to try one. As I peeled the orange, the fragrant sweet citrus smell filled the air. Then as I pulled it apart, the juices dripped over my hand to the ground, and I was ready for this forbidden fruit. I took the first juicy bite, immediately regretting my decision, and spat out the most bitter, sour, and awful orange I have ever tasted. You see, sometimes it's not easy to spot a bad tree, and I think Jesus is challenging us to look deeper (v21-23). Just looking good through nice deeds or pretending to bear fruit isn't really bearing "good" fruit, and Jesus is the taster of our fruit because what's on the inside counts. Bearing good fruit starts with the seed of Jesus Christ living in us, then through the power of God's word, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the communication of prayer, we develop into the tree God has called us to be.
I challenge you to look inside and examine your heart and the fruit you bear from your everyday life. Have you tasted God's goodness today (Pa 34:8) or connected with Jesus (John 15:5) that you may bear much fruit? It is not your responsibility to grow others, but we are called to share the loving seeds of Christ and be a fountain that spreads the living water from God (1 Corinthians 3:6-9), then allow God to do the rest. Does your fruit look and taste like (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal 5:22)? Is your heart and soil ready for God to use your fruit that not only looks good but taste amazing that a greater harvest could be seen (Matthew 13:23)?