Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15: 4 - 6
Author Mark Twain is credited with the saying, " Why not go out on a limb? That's where all the fruit is.” Twain spoke of risk taking and the rewards that sometimes come from taking a chance. When a person “goes out on a limb”…takes a chance, he or she expects a return, a reward, some sort of fruit for their labors. When we sacrifice, delay gratification, step out in faith hoping for the best, it is because we believe it will pay off sooner rather than later. Something good is going to come from it in the end. If we decide to go back to school, even if it means riding a bus to get there, it is in hope that we will be able to land a better paying job or start a long-term career. When we go out on a limb and tutor a child or just invest ourselves in them in some way, it is because we expect it to bear fruit of improved grades, attitude, or self-esteem. When we go out on a limb, taking a risk, taking a chance it is because, though we are on that shaky limb, we are reaching out for the fruit; Fruit which is sometimes on the tip of the limb. If I could just…grab it! Just a little bit further out…ALLLLmost there! Well, Beloved if you belong to God you are not “out on a limb” or some rickety branch. In fact, you are the branch attached to The Vine: Jesus Christ, and your life is supposed to bear fruit. Yes, our lives DO bear fruit. But, the question is what KIND of fruit? You know a tree by the fruit it bears and as Christians we are to bear the "Fruit of Righteousness" in which we are in right standing, upright before God we should see the fruit of that and, more importantly, so should others! Question: What kind of fruit are you bearing? This is not about judging, this is about fruit inspecting! You know God can speak to us in so many ways. This which I share with you came as I ate lunch at work. I bit into an apple and saw that part of it was brownish. I remembered that I had dropped an apple while grocery shopping. "Even fruit can bruise!", I thought. “Bruised Fruit” Hmmmmmm. I could not see the bruise from the outside. It was only when I got a little closer, inspecting the fruit in a most intimate way, that I saw that it was bruised. We have to examine ourselves and the fruit we are bearing. Is it bruised fruit? Fruit that has somehow been damaged because of the way it is or has been handled? Dear ones,When we receive Christ, we are “born again” of the Spirit of God.
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Because we are" Born Again” of the Spirit of God we receive the fruit of the Spirit. And it is absolutely NOT "bruised fruit". God does all things well! But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal 5: 22- 23). Now why would the Lord mention bruised fruit? Bruised fruit is most often caused by the way the fruit is handled: How are you handling the Spirit of God? It’s His fruit! He is the Giver. Don't "drop" Him! Bruised fruit speaks to a skin that is compromised. Are you compromising? Luke warm? One foot still in the world, the other in the body of Christ? Light has no fellowship with darkness? Examine your fruit! Is it bruised? With bruised fruit, you have to be on the look-out for mold! Are you professing to be a child of God and the fruit you are bearing is moldy! Mold can cover fruit until it begins to decay and shrivel, dry out ~ "dried out" Christianity. God forbid! Bruised, moldy fruit is unsightly, people don’t like the taste of it, it’s mushy, discolored, and it can be unsafe to eat. When we speak of Jesus, our church, etc., people don’t receive it because of damaged fruit. BRUISED FRUIT. People know when we talk the talk, but you don’t walk the walk. So does the Lord. Bruised, spoiled fruit: The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality (Adultery, fornication,) impurity and debaucher (promiscuity); idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God ( Gal. 5:19 - 21 ). Abba Father sends this word because that one with a moldy fruit walk with the Lord is susceptible to infection: There’s something (or someone), that should not be there. It contaminates. One with bruised fruit is vulnerable! Light and darkness have no fellowship. You are saved and we belong to the Lord! Such an one, moldy, opens themselves to the enemy. They give The enemy legal right to oppress and to harass them. You wonder why things are inside out and upside down? Check out what you have around your fruit! Come out from among them! Examine your fruit: Is it bruised? Loose that moldy stuff! They are a hazard to your spiritual health. It may be the pressure of their presence that’s causing the bruise. Let us do some introspective fruit inspection. Ask God to show you. We all have to do that on a regular basis. Let us make sure we are living "the vine life".... Living IN Christ and bearing good fruit by His Spirit.
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam borei p'ri hagafen
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Creator of the Universe, who has created the good fruit of the tree. Amein.