Words from the Heart for Sunday December 19th, 2021

The ax is now ready to cut down the trees. Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Luke 3:9 (ICB)

Listen to Words from the Heart

Cut Down the Trees

Pulling on snow boots and heading out onto publicly owned land with a saw and hot chocolate in search of the perfect Christmas tree is an annual tradition for many Canadian families, but across vast swaths of this country, provincial governments have embraced the ritual with some reluctance or banned it completely. Western Canadian provinces allow locals to cut down a fragrant evergreen from Crown land to fill their living rooms with festive cheer during the Christmas season. The situation in Ontario is more complicated.

***

There is something special about orchards. I live in a region of Canada where they are plentiful. Orchardists understand what is necessary in order to have a successful harvest each fall. This includes having to cut down trees that aren’t producing enough fruit and plant new ones that are healthy. Jesus would use this horticultural principle to teach about spiritual fruitfulness. In predicting the pending arrival of Jesus, so does John the Baptist. In Luke 3:9 the prophet says, “The ax is now ready to cut down the trees. Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” What did he mean by this? Jesus would answer that question. When we have been truly redeemed, we become fruit producers. The presence of Jesus in us is proven by what our life produces – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Jesus will do anything He has to in order to see this fruit produced in His followers. And we must be just as committed to seeing this fruit produced – it is the mark that Jesus has transformed us and taken up His residence in us.

These have been words from the heart.
Bob Beasley