Come each summer, we find fruit in abundance. One year I was actually successful with growing tomatoes in my garden; they were bright red and delectable. If store-bought tomatoes are your only experience with this fruit, then just trust me...you are missing out on the real thing. Between back yard gardens and farmer's markets, there's no shortage of fresh fruit this summer. But can you imagine asking a farmer what kind of tree grew an apple? Or where the peach originated? He would probably wonder about you! Yet, as Christians, sometimes we diminish the importance and origin of our fruit. We may look at one another, or ourselves, and explain away a lack of fruit. We may claim the "tree" is good even when the fruit is bad. So, first off, we must be honest with ourselves and we must honestly evaluate other professing Believers. Call the spade a spade. An 'orange' by any other name is still an 'orange'.
Believers are urged to live a life worthy of the calling we have been given. We all hold certain doctrines as truth--in other words, we might have the head knowledge that something is true, even something from the Bible. But, the question is: Do we live out that true doctrine? If I believe in my head that God is trustworthy and faithful, I am holding this doctrine about God to be true. However, if I live in great fear and I worry often, wondering if God is really able to take care of whatever situation is glaring down my path, then I'm not living out that doctrine as truth. In fact, I'm living out a false doctrine about God. My actions are saying that I believe God to be impotent in my fearful situation and that I cannot lean on Him or trust Him to take care of me so I must take circumstances into my own control and worry a whole bunch while I do that.
To produce good fruit, we must know the Lord. We must be in an intimate relationship with Him in order to know Him well and depend upon Him as we live our lives. If I'm living out true doctrine about Jesus, then my life, the fruit of my faith, will correspond with that.
So, what do you know about the Almighty God? Can you agree with Rahab the prostitute when she spoke these words to the Israelite spies who came into her home in Jericho: "As soon as we heard these things [about the LORD], our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath."
Rahab heard about the Israelites' God and believed Him to be the supreme God of the heavens. Because of her belief, she acted accordingly and this was faith in action. The Word tells us in Hebrews:
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11: 6
A saving faith in God will produce godly fruit in our lives. Our actions reveal our faith.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit...I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
John 15: 1-2, 5
Who do you think the Vine is? What does your life proclaim about Jesus?
May our lives reveal a faith-that-pleases like Rahab demonstrated. This kind of life will glorify the Father and draw sinners to the astounding good news of the Cross.