Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Κύριος Notes: Fruit? Really?
Scripture Reflection: Matthew 7:15-20
15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Lord Jesus—When You were saying this there were many who were preaching and teaching and seeking to gain a following among the people for their own ends. They wanted to create a revolt, develop a following and their reasons were their own.
A few years in the future when you said these words people would revolt against Rome. Masada stands as a mute testimony to the hopes of a people oppressed and who looked to leaders who ultimately lead then to ruin.
16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Leadership over time results in fruit: either good or bad…either well formed and usable, or a bitter harvest. I look for the harvest Lord Jesus…people who are changed by the work of your Spirit in their lives. Fruits like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self control.
18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Lord Jesus—There is an organic nature to the growth of your Kingdom. It is not by accident, but almost a genetic quality. A tree produces fruit of its kind…oranges from orange trees, apples from apple trees, grape from grape vines. Nothing radical about that, except that you are seeking to transform people…seeking to see fruit from trees that could never have produced them without your intervention.
Lord, you call for change again and again in my life…transformation from what is…to what you would have me become by your grace. Fruit comes from fruit trees, and the miracle of your grace is that you can bring about change in kind not just change in degree.
That was what you meant when you talked to Nic at night …
5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'
A change in genetics can occur. This transformation leads to a change of outcomes: a change from thistles to figs. Amazing. That change in outcomes is what I can expect because of Your death and resurrection working within me.