Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Matthew 3:8 (NIV)
Butternut trees are members of the walnut family and are one of two species of walnut native to Canada. They are widely distributed, though uncommon, across eastern Canada. On average, butternuts are short-lived trees, living up to 80 years of age. They are medium-sized deciduous trees, reaching up to 30 metres in height. Butternuts are often confused with black walnuts; however, butternuts have large terminal leaflets (leaves on the end of a compound leaf), hairy yellowish-orange twigs and egg-shaped fruits.
Fruit trees are amazing things – each spring they return to life with the blooms that turn into the fruit some weeks later. It is natural for them to bear fruit – they can do nothing else. Once they stop bearing fruit they are cut down and burned. In the spiritual realm, we are the fruit trees. Jesus taught this in Matthew 3:8: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” Just as a fruit tree naturally draws strength and nutrition through its roots, so the follower of Jesus draws life and strength through repentance. We are called to ensure that our lives are free from sin – so when we do fall to temptation we must immediately repent and seek God’s forgiveness and strength. When our hearts are pure before the Lord, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. It ought to be natural for Christians to bear the fruit of the Spirit. But like the orchardist who trims off the dead branches of a fruit tree in order that the healthy branches can bear more fruit, we need to quickly repent of any sin in our lives so that the fruit of the Spirit can be produced. Allow the Holy Spirit to do so.
These have been words from the heart.