You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Matthew 7:16
So most of us know this scripture and it leaves little room for interpretation. What’s at the root, or the true nature of our hearts, will determine how we choose to live our lives. It will ultimately seep out of us into our actions.
I’ve often had the discussion of what about people who just do good things? Oprah does good things. She builds houses for young girls in Africa. And most recently my daughter asked me about the owner of TOMS who does good things, and from her research is a Christian, but does not use his faith as a platform for his cause.
All the good intentions in the world that don’t reflect Jesus mean NOTHING. Harsh, I know. Harsh, but true. See, it might mean something to someone in this life, but in light of eternity, if your good works don’t point to Jesus they don’t have eternal impact. Eternal impact is the only impact that matters.
The Bible says: All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6
As we dig through this we see the word ACTS. ACTS simply meaning- being something you are not. Acting righteous. FILTHY RAGS. Now this one might gross you out, but it’s important you see how disgusting it is in the sight of the Lord to pretend to produce a fruit you can’t. FILTHY RAGS are likened to pads used during menstruation, after they’ve actually been used.
I think the bottom line is that when we do good things out of any other motivation than for Jesus then it’s like offering a trash can full of used Kotex at the feet of Jesus. If you want your fruit, your deeds, your life, to be pleasing to God then get to the root of why you do what you do. Am I helping the neighbor because I want her kids to think I’m a better mom? Am I serving at church because I want everyone think I’m more righteous than they are? Do I want the fruit of my life to reflect immediate POOF-God-Change or do I want the roots of my life to truly grow deep in Christ so that what I’m producing in my life is a sweet offering to the Lord?
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
COMMENT: How are you letting your roots grow deep in Jesus so the fruit you bear is of Him and not you?