By their fruit you will know them
Regardless of how often I have heard or read this verse, I realized for the very first time that Christ doesn’t care about quantity but rather quality. “Every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.” False prophets are not easily recognizable. They may speak angelically, act immaculately and even look heavenly, but "underneath they are ravenous wolves.” We know you cannot "judge a book by its cover." The Lord knows that, too. But we have a dilemma. We can see the face but not the heart. Externals verses internals. Actions that are in conflict with intentions; the body pitted against the soul. What do we have “underneath” it all? Underneath is the key word here. We are asked by the Lord to look deep down and see what man is made of. He should be made of Christ. "Remain in me, as I remain in you.” How do we know who is the scoundrel and who is the Saint?” "By their fruit, you will know them.” Love produces more love. Forgiveness gives birth to mercy and compassion. Sacrifice yields an abundance of fruit. In reality, the Lord is saying "by their fruit, you will know Him!"
Work for the Lord
Laborers of the vineyard work for the Master of the vineyard. All glory, all honor, all worship belong to the Master. The way they work will tell us much about who they are. When there is conflict, there is rebellion, division and murder. SIN abounds everywhere and it is open season on God!! The true prophets beg for instruction, for discernment, to be led, to have their hearts near the Lord, to turn away from all that distracts them from the Holy One. (Psalm 119) In summary, they long for, search for, ask for, speak for and live for the Lord.
Point to the Lord
All things and people must point to Him. The true prophets point to God.
The Baptist points to Christ. The saints point to Christ. The Lord points to the Father!! All things point to, lead to, and end in the Father. The false prophets end in themselves. It’s all about them! When everything is said and done the only thing that “remains in me” must be CHRIST. “It is no longer I who live in me, but Christ who lives in me.”
Live in the Lord
Who or what lives in you? God is the strength of his people. In Him, we, His chosen, live in safety. "Save us, Lord, who share in your life, and give us your blessing; be our shepherd forever." (Psalm 27:8-9) The one who bears fruit is the one who lives in and for the Lord. Amen.
How many people have you loved and forgiven today? Remember, every good tree bears good fruit… Jesus says, "By their fruit you will know" if they belong to me.