A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.” Luke 6:43-44
Jill wiped the sweat from her face and slapped the bark on an apple tree. “This one needs to come down,” she said. Her assistant gazed upward into the thick green foliage with a bewildered expression. “Why?” he asked. “Bad tree,” Jill answered. “Haven’t had any decent apples in two seasons. Those little ones up there? Half rotten. Tree’s no good to me now.” Her assistant still looked confused. “But…but all those leaves…it looks so healthy.” Jill shook her head and moved to the next tree. “It’s faking you out,” she laughed. “Pretending to be productive, but it’s all leaf. A tree is healthy if it produces good fruit.”
When a gardener plants and nurtures a fruit tree, he expects good fruit from it. If the tree is rotten inside, the fruit won’t be any good either. The same is true for us. The fruit of our lives is seen in the decisions we make, the attitudes we adopt, and the words we speak. If our hearts are self-centered, our fruit will be too. You can’t turn an oak tree into a peach tree by taping a peach to it. And going through churchy motions does not change our identities. Jesus offers to do that for us when we give our lives to Him. He changes us from the inside so that our fruit lasts for eternity. Unless our fruit is obedience to Christ, it’s all leaf.