Matthew 7:17-20 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
Galatians 5:22-25 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Spring is coming. In just a few short days, we will be turning our clocks ahead an hour, springing forward with Daylight Savings time. We will find an extra hour of daylight at the end of each day. I get excited thinking about the spring days that will soon be arriving. We actually got a little taste of spring in the air yesterday with a day filled with beautiful blue skies and sunshine. As my father-in-law would say, “it was a blue bird kind of day.” With spring comes gardening. We grow a lot of our food right here on the farm, and I love to garden. Digging in the cool, dark soil and planting seeds is soothing to the body and mind. We plant the seeds, we water, and then we wait. God provides the sunshine and additional water with rains from above. It seems like it takes forever for that first little seedling to break through the soil and burst forth, but as quickly as one arrives, another will break through, and then another. The watering helps in this process of seed to seedling, but do you want to know what else that water helps produce? Stinking weeds! Yes, every year we grow some very beautiful weeds, and we spend many hours pulling weeds. We realize that the weeds will prevent the plant from thriving and producing adequate nutrition. It seems like the weeds suck the life right out of the fruit bearing plants. There is one weed in particular that our garden seems to be fond of growing: pigweed. It is a weed with sharp thorns, and it grows fast and it gets big. It will take over a garden in a week if allowed to thrive. I despise the pigweed the most, and I have spent many a day gardening planning my conversation with Adam and Eve when I get to heaven. We are going to have a discussion about pigweed for sure.
When I look at my own life, I see a lot of pigweed growing at times too, and I’ve learned that if I water those weeds, they will surely grow. Remember Jesus’ words in Mark chapter 4. He taught of the parable of the different soils. Christ reminded us in those words that spiritual fruitfulness or barrenness depends on the type of soil in which the seed of God’s Word is planted. Jesus talked about the choking influence of the thorns and weeds noting that they squeeze the life out of the fruit producing seedlings, leaving no room for fruit production. Jesus talked about the the weed of worry which pulls us in a direction away from Him and His glory. We are all guilty of allowing this stinking weed to creep in from time to time. It can come in the form of a distraction such as busyness. It can look like insecurity, or it can just appear to be a problem that we dwell on rather than dwelling on the Problem Solver. The second weed that Jesus warned of is the deceitfulness of riches. We live in a very rich, prosperous country, but wealth is deceiving. It allows us to rely on ourselves for our provisions, and it deceives us into thinking that we are in control of our finances. Wealth causes us to have a numb heart in response to God’s direction in our lives. The third weed that Jesus spoke of was the desire for other things. Oh, aren’t we all guilty of watering this weed and letting it grow? We want what we don’t have, and we tend to forget that we already have what we need. If we water any of these weeds for a little while, they will grow and flourish, and when these weeds flourish, they choke out our production of fruit.
Galatians 5:22-25 reminds us of what we need to do differently. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. We must not water the weeds in our garden of life, but rather water the good fruit producing seeds. Allow the Holy Spirit to take control and help us to produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. When these seedlings begin to break through, water them like crazy. Get in God’s Word. Study scripture. Talk to God and ask Him to use your for His glory. Remind yourself that Christ has already nailed those wicked weeds to the cross and crucified them there. We shouldn’t be watering weeds when they’ve already been crucified!
What kind of weeds are you watering today? Are you allowing weeds to take away your joy and keep you from enjoying the fullness of life in Christ? Maybe it’s time to start weeding the garden. Let us stop watering weeds, and instead, let us water in the fruits of the Spirit and go out and be fruitful for our Lord and Savior!