Apple trees don’t struggle to figure out who they are and what they should do. Perhaps you shouldn’t, either. Apple trees produce apples; they bear fruit. Apples emerge because the sap of life flows through the tree. I don’t know how it happens, simply that it does.
We do well to remember that when we deal with Bible passages about bearing fruit, such as this one: (We’ve lingered over this part of Colossians (see last few posts) in which Paul prays for God to fill his friends with spiritual wisdom…)
“… so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work…” – (Colossians 1:10a)
If you’re not careful, a passage like that can fill you with insecurity: “Am I doing enough? Am I pleasing God? Am I doing good work? Am I worthy?” Knock it off! The new life of Christ does not shake a bony, accusing finger in our faces! Remember the apple trees.
Jesus gives us new life, the life of His Spirit, to live in us as we live in Him. In that state, He says, we will bear much fruit.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – (John 15:5)
What’s that fruit going to look like? What sort of “every good work” am I meant to do? You will see. Your fruit might look like apples. Mine might taste like grapes. But don’t worry: once we put our faith fully in Jesus, God fills us with His Spirit, His life in us produces fruit, and He is pleased.
“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” – (Philippians 2:13)