It is that time of year again. Time to start the tomato plants from seed or buy baby plants to put out in the next month or so. Farmers used to plant on Good Friday. My daughter has set some tomato seeds and she has several baby plants she is tending to. The baby plants are outside during the warm days and inside when cool or at night. Before long they will be planted in the garden. Hopefully, they will bear much fruit (tomatoes are a fruit). My daughter has a very good green thumb so her plants thrive where mine die.
Me, on the other hand, I struggle to get a few handful of tomatoes. I don’t know what my issues have been. 🙁 Many, many times I have babied plants, set them out in the garden, and watered away all summer. But then I end up with large leafy green tomato plants that I must keep staking, tying or propping up to keep them from falling on the ground. That wouldn’t be a problem except they bear no fruit. Maybe, just maybe, I get my hopes up because tiny green tomatoes appear yet alas, they fail to develop into those bright red tomatoes that I have looked forward to. 🙁
Some people who claim to be Christians are very much like my tomato plants. They look healthy. They appear to be growing well. They are full of “good works” (leaves). Maybe even they start to develop and appear to be producing fruit but by the end their fruit is rotten. Rotten fruit is worthless. Our churches are full of people who look healthy yet bear no fruit.
Matthew 7:15-20 (ESV)
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Mark 4:20 (ESV) But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
John 15:2-8 (ESV)
2 Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
John 15:16 (ESV) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Are you bearing good fruit?
Are you constantly staking, tying and propping up other believers and yet they don’t bear any fruit?
Are you forced to baby other believers and they never seem to be maturing? Do they constantly return to the same issues?