Gaze into your Fruit Basket
by Hugh Halter on September 5th, 2013
Over and over in scripture, fruit is the metaphor for true success. No matter what
we may call successful ministry, be it size, numbers, budget, numbers of staff,
multiple sites, baptisms, or etc, Jesus calls us to look at fruit.
I was with a denominational leader two weeks ago that said, “if I look at the fruit
of our movement, based on leadership we’ve developed and sent, health of our
existing congregations, demographic of under 30 year olds who are joining our
ranks, or stories of true conversions, our basket is full of rotting fruit.” Another
individual pastor told me just yesterday, “Hugh, I’m working my butt off, and I’ve
tried everything to get people to live like Jesus, but I see so little.” Because of the
previous metaphor I mentioned, I asked this pastor, “If you were to look into a
basket representing the fruit of your labor, how would you characterize what you
see?” His reply: “Some of it looks rotten, some spoiled, but mostly, I see the fruit as
hard, and unripened.”
Jesus made a lot of comments about fruit. “You will know them by their fruit.” “A
good tree cannot bear bad fruit nor a bad tree bear good fruit.”
And with these two simple statements, Jesus seems to be speaking clear English. We
don’t get to make judgments about whether or not a ministry is working or whether
or not God is blessing our work based on our standard measurements, but we can
look for fruit. Does it look good, smell right; is it colorful, inviting, tasty?
What is pure fruit that we know is of God? What is fruit in keeping with repentance
or fruit from a good tree? Transformed lives; leaders developed and sent; people
coming to faith in Jesus; communities of friends that band together & hold each
other to a higher life and who engage the poor and those in true need; people who
are struggling through key decisions that free them up to serve the ethos of the
kingdom of God; good street cred with the unbelievers around them; when our own
children are inspired and want to live our life after Christ; faithful generosity, and of
course inner life change that we call the fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians, or
1 Corinthians 13.
When we look into the baskets that represent our life, our work, and our toil for
Jesus, what does our fruit tell us?
And if we look honestly, and see fruit that we don’t want to eat, will we keep doing
what we’re doing? Will we let God prune it, cut it or us down? How serious are we
about what our basket holds?
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to
a people who will produce its fruit. Matthew 21:43
Posted in not categorized Tagged with Christ, christian leaders, Fruit, Spiritual gifts, Spiritual diciplines, transformed, repentance, development, leaders, Trees
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