“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” (Matthew 12:33)
In part one of our devotions on fruit bearing, we learned that we are bearing either good fruit or corrupt fruit. No tree can bring forth good and corrupt fruit at the same time; just as a fountain cannot sent forth at the same place sweet water and bitter (James 3:11). As born-again believers, our fruit must show forth who or what we say we are.
If you want apples from a tree, you must go to an apple tree. If you want oranges, then you find an orange tree. Jesus said that you will know a tree by the fruit it bears. But what if there is no bearing of fruit at all?
“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away…” (John 15:2a)
Why are so many professing Christians not bearing fruit?
“Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.” (Matthew 13:18)
“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” (Matthew 13:19)
“But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;” (Matthew 13:20)
“Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” (Matthew 13:21)
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)
“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:23)
The Bible makes it perfectly clear why some professing Christians are not bearing fruit. It first matters what kind of ground the seed (the Word of God) has fallen on: by the way side, into stony places, among thorns, or into good ground.
The Bible tells us why no fruit is found: in some, the Word is heard, but not understood. Then the wicked one steals what was sown in the heart of the way side ones.
Then there are those who receive the Word with joy after hearing it, but have no root. When tribulations and persecutions come, “he is offended.”
There are also those who receive the Word, they hear the Word; but the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, leaving the professing Christian unfruitful.
But when the heart has been cultivated and prepared to received seed (good ground), the Word is heard, received, and understood; bringing forth a harvest of a hundred, some sixty, some thirty.
Is it possible that those who are not bearing fruit need their heart cultivated? Observe Luke 13:
“He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.” (Luke 13:6)
“Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” (Luke 13:7)
“And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:” (Luke 13:8)
“And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” (Luke 13:9)
Something was hindering this fig tree from bearing fruit. What’s hindering you?