Do you remember going on your first field trip in elementary school? Mine was a visit to an apple farm and was especially memorable due to the small little pies my grandmother made with the apples I picked. And let’s face it people… it’s allabout the food. I was excited to pick my very own fruit but even more excited to eat it! As a parent, I relive many of these childhood memories as I participate in similar activities with my son. I find myself reflecting through the nostalgia and hearing God speak to me through the everyday activities of our family… in this case, through apple trees.
There’s something about nature—especially trees—that causes me to acknowledge God’s greatness, His creative power and His attention to detail. I sense His love for me through it all… that He would chose humanity to be the crown of His creation and that He took similar care and attention to detail while fashioning me in my mother’s womb. Since creation reflects our Creator we can learn a lot from it.
While reminiscing about my field trip I came to a realization that the fruit a tree bears isn’t for the tree, but for the life of those around it. Animals, insects, and even the ecosystem as a whole all receive sustenance from the tree’s fruit.
Likewise, the fruit of our lives is not simply for us. It isn’t for self-actualization like in some religions. It isn’t for us to be labeled a good Christian or for us to feel good about ourselves. Nor is it to make us look good to everyone else. The Christian life is one of service and giving, modeled after a Savior who sacrificed for us. As believers, we live in a kingdom of opposites. It’s better to give than to receive… the last shall be first and the first shall be last. To gain your life you must lose it. The point of everything we do and the fruit of our lives is service.
Eugene Peterson says, “The gospel is not a consumer product; it doesn’t satisfy what we think of as our ‘needs.’”
The question I’ve been asking of myself lately is, “What fruit are people picking from my life?”
Are they pickinglove, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Or are they picking negativity? Gossip? Or even worse… apathy?
Like the fruit of an apple tree, the impact of Christian radio is not just for us Christians, but for the world. In fact, I believe if we tailor what we do only to Christians we could lose a portion of our impact.
You are in a unique situation serving in the ministry of radio because you reach so many people without even meeting many of them. Although testimonies come in, your reach is greater than you might ever know… you could be affecting an ecosystem! You are trulyreaching the world and may never know your full impact until you see Jesus face to face.
Two of the most important things a healthy tree must have in order to bear good fruit are a strong root system and a source of water.
May our roots go deep and may Christ dwell in our hearts through faith… that we would be rootedand grounded in love… to know the love of Christ that surpasses our knowledge. (Ephesians 3) May we continually seek moreof Jesus and lessof us.
May we live close to our source of livingwater. May we obtain our confidence, identity, peace, and everything else we might ever need from the only true source of those things. God’s supply never wains!
May we not walk in the way of the wicked but meditate on God’s word so that we are like trees planted by streams of water… that whatever we do would prosper. (Psalm 1) But not for just our own sake but for the sake of those around us… for the sake of the Kingdom!