Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Your Intentions Determine Your Growth

By Allen White

Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:17-20

What is your intention for your relationship with God? 

Have you ever thought about that before? What do you intend to do with God? If your intention is to avoid Hell, then you just say the sinner’s prayer, and you have your “fire insurance.” But, if you have no desire to live for God, then how do you know that you’re saved?

If your intention is to fit in, then you might attend church every week and work hard at appearing to be okay. But, sitting in a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a barn makes you a cow.
If your intention is to experience abundant life and bear spiritual fruit, then how is that going? What are you doing daily to make this happen? What are you avoiding daily that might keep this from happening?

If you want an abundance of fruit in an orchard, you have to create the right conditions. Does the soil have the right minerals? Is there adequate water and appropriate sunlight? Is there any hint of disease or pests? What about weed control?

If your spiritual life is a weedy, untended garden, then the good fruit you are capable of producing can’t grow. The richness of the soil is wasted on plants that produce nothing of value.

There are many beautiful plants in creation that produce nothing. Sycamore trees give plenty of shade, and crepe myrtles produce beautiful flowers, but there is no edible fruit on either.

Here’s the test: if you think you’re a good tree, but your life is bearing bad fruit, then guess what? You’re a bad tree. If your life produces good fruit, then you are a good tree – not a perfect tree – but a good one.

What if your life produces both? According to Jesus’ analogy, there’s no room for that. Either your fruit is bad or good. Does a little bit of bad fruit make everything bad? Or does a little bit of good fruit justify everything else?

For people, and not plants, there are healthy parts of us and diseased parts of us. God has given us everything we need to heal the diseased parts of us. He offers forgiveness for our sins. He extends grace. God has given us other believers to encourage us and to help bear our burdens. The question is – what part of our nature do we intend to grow?

What is your intention when it comes to your relationship with God? What are you doing daily to move forward?

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