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 Bible with Cross ShadowEven so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:17-20

Bearing good fruit is a test for every tree, not just prophets and teachers. In fact, our faithfulness as disciples of Jesus Christ is evidenced by our bearing much fruit (John 15:8). To do otherwise results in our being cut down (or cut off) and thrown into the fire.

It is the abiding life that bears much fruit; Him abiding in us, our abiding in Him, and His words abiding in us. Jesus is faithful in His abiding. When it comes to bearing fruit, we are the limiting factor.

The Greek word for abide is menō. It also means to remain, continue and endure. The abiding life is not a passive life. At a minimum, there is the obedient response to Jesus’ command. We must choose to abide.

Furthermore, while God is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure, we must be working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). The good fruit that every good tree bears is the fruit of the Spirit and the work of God that we have been created to walk in; work that glorifies the Father (Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:16).

For me, abiding has required my enduring the transformational work of the Holy Spirit (2Corinthians 3:18). The removal of impatience and a judgmental spirit are two examples. Furthermore, God has used the chaos of transformation to work His way, truth and life into me; and to work out the hooks, habits and hang-ups that interfere with my glorifying Him and enjoying His presence. Read the rest of this entry »

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