Pastor John E. Russell
Senior Pastor
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Fruit Tree

Imagine a large beautiful tree. This tree has been growing in your neighborhood for many years and has now reached an impressive height. The wonderful thing about this tree is that it is filled with some of the most tantalizing fruit you have ever seen. This fruit must surely be filled with all kinds of vitamins and minerals and will certainly have the sweetest taste and finest texture of any fruit around, at least if the sight of this tree is any indication. Everyone talks about this tree with its amazing beauty, its bountiful fruit, and its unlimited potential.

What they don't know is that there is something terribly wrong with this tree. If you were to draw close to the tree and see what is actually happening, you would not believe your eyes. This tree is doing something that just isn't right. Certainly no tree was created to do this. It seems to go against all that is good, decent, and natural. This tree is eating its own fruit!

Upon closer inspection you find that this tree has set itself up so no one else gets to sample this very needed fruit. It takes in the sun and the water. It lets itself be trimmed and pruned. It enjoys the admiring looks of those passing by, but never even considers sharing with anyone else any of the amazing fruit that it has been blessed with. What a shame! What a waste! What useful purpose does this fruit tree really serve? Who ever heard of a fruit tree eating all of its own fruit and not letting anyone else enjoy what it has to offer? I'm sure God would never have created it to be like this. It's definitely not fulfilling its purpose.

This story reminds me of a scripture in the Book of Daniel. This scripture also talks about a large, beautiful tree.
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. - Daniel 4:11-12
The fruit was meant for others - not for the tree, not for itself. This tree got it right!

In John 15, verses 5 and 8, Jesus tells us:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

God desires that each one of us bear much fruit. He wants us to be "full of good fruit" according to James 3:17.

According to Colossians 1:10, we are to " a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work..."

And one final scripture. Romans 7:4 tells us we are to bear fruit to God.

Let's not be like the tree in the story. Instead, let's use all that God has given us - our talents, our giftings..."our fruit" - and let them be food for all.

Don't sell yourself short. You've got a lot to give. God knew what He was doing when He made you!

Be Fruitful,
Pastor John


Anonymous said...

Thank you Pastor John for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you to minister to me regarding holding back. Our wonderful Father has blessed me with much and He is calling me to share but because I allow myself to believe that I really am "just me" and nothing special, I hold back. May I be like the tree that God has called me to be and bear much fruit.

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Great example about the tree and its fruit. The story and the scriptures really hit home.

Betty said...

Thank you Pastor John for continuing to speak to us with words of truth and for being the Godly example you are!

Beau Wynn said...

Straight between the eyes...or should I say - right in the trunk! Thanks Pastor for taking the time out...

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