About a year ago, Bailey, my then girlfriend, and I went apple picking, just like any young millennial couple living in Georgia would do. We drove up to Ellijay, grabbed a bag, and picked apples.
The real reason we were there was because I planned to propose.
It didn’t happen.
Give me some slack, I was a college kid working as an intern.
Anyway, we took home 20 pounds of apples. But do you want to know what we didn’t bring home? Oranges. The entire time we were there, we only saw apples. Not a single orange, peach, grape… nothing, but apples.
This isn’t a surprise. We were in an apple orchard. Down to the root, the trees had the identity of apple trees. Sure, there were different types of apples, but at the end of the day they were all apple trees.
The fruit of these trees gave them the trees their identity. And the same is true for us, Church. Jesus said, “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. A person is identified by their fruits” (Matthew 12:33) Luke says it this way, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45) Our roots, our hearts are identified by the fruit we bear.
An apple tree can’t bear oranges, a bad heart can’t bear good fruit.
A heart rooted in self will bear fruits of deception, confusion, anger, foolishness, demanding, and contentment. To bear good fruit, we need a good heart, a surrendered heart. When our hearts are rooted in the Spirit and not the flesh, we bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23). A heart surrendered to Christ is the only way these fruits are shown.
And people can see where our roots of worship are rooted by the fruit we bear.
Our wives see our fruit, our co-workers and children and friends see our fruits.
What fruit are your truly bearing? Where in your life do you need to abandon self? What is your heart producing? What is stored up in your heart? What are you rooted in?