Harry and David. If you know who they are your mouth is already watering for that crisp, fresh, succulent pear. They are known for their fruits. Every year, at the beginning of the Christmas season, my mother in law sends us a very large selection of Harry and David pears. Its almost ceremonial as the kids go through each box, setting aside the Golden Foil wrapped pears that will be eaten last. Only after all the “regular” pears are polished off are we able to unwrap the special golden pears. We enjoy these golden pears together as a family making sure each person gets a chunk of the most delectable piece of fruit in the whole box! Year after year we eagerly await the arrival of our Pears. We have never meet Harry or David, yet we have come to know and love them both because we know them by their fruits. This does not surprise me however, after all the bible tells us plainly in Mathew 7:16-20 we will know them by their fruits!
When you visit the “about us” page on the Harry and David website you get to read who they are and how they started. We read that in order to get the land with the nutrient rich soil, he had to sell his beloved hotel. You also get to read and watch videos about the level of care that goes into the fruits. They are grown to perfection, hand picked, and preserved. The soil they are grown in is cared for in special ways. Cultivated with a purpose in mind, the purpose of the end result. These levels of quality care are what have earned this pear orchard its reputation.
The same is true of us. We are also known by our fruits. This gives me cause to pause. What levels of care am I investing in my fruits….he invested his hotel in the orchard (soil) it cost him something, it cost him everything actually. Mathew 3:8 tells us ” to bring forth fruits meet for repentance” or another version says To bring forth fruits that show a changed heart and mind. To “bring forth” means to make, to be the author of, to make ready, to prepare. To bring forth fruit doesn’t just happen, WE cause it to happen. We have to do something to cause the production of the fruit. Good or bad. Sweet or bitter. Succulent or spoiled. We cause it! By our actions. By our decisions. And by our thoughts! We grow our own fruits.
Luke 6:43-45 shows us that the “soil” in which this fruit that you and I will bring forth is our heart. Our heart is the soil that we need to tend to. Something will grow in all seasons of our lives, so we need to tend to our hearts always. Just as proper care and treatment, of the soil, in the fields of farmers needs tending on the off season, so do our hearts. The soil is the foundation of any good garden. We need to “till” the garden of our hearts to see whats in there. Paul tells us in 2Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see if we still be in the faith, test yourself, know yourself he says! We need to get in there and root around, and see whats in there! With out proper nutrients the soil will not grow fruit that will sustain your appetite and provide the nourishment your body needs. You would become malnourished and could get very ill. The same is true with our spiritual condition, if we are not carefully tending to the soil of our hearts we could become malnutritioned spiritually.
Science has shown that all living things need air – sunlight – water. We also need these elements if we are to live thriving lives that produce an abundance of fruit. We need regular exposure to Son-light. Jesus is the SON of God and the LIGHT of this world (John 8:12), therefor making him the much needed son-light. We can get this by spending time in his presence through prayer and worship. We can son-bathe in his glory just like the plants in the orchards. It will assure our fruits are ripened, palatable and ready to be served.
With out water, our fruits will dehydrate. We need to replenish our supply of waternot just any water, not stale water, but fresh water, moving water, It needs to be glistening and alive! Jesus IS the living water (John 4:11-13). It is him through his word, the Bible, that keeps us hydrated and our fruits plump and juicy!
His word is also our “bug spray”! Ephesians 5:26-27 tells us Jesus is washing us with his water (the word)to cleanse us and keep us free from blemishes! The blemishes that those parasites would cause in our fruits! We have all gotten an apple that has the bug holes right?? Yuk, I don’t want to eat that fruit. But, by staying in Gods word he will keep those parasites from being able to destroy our fruits!
I want my life to produce fruit that is fit to serve on a kings table! At King Jesus’s table!