2/18/16 Fruit that will remain.

IMG_0419IMG_0420This is a mangosteen.  It’s a blessing to be able to eat these little gems because not only do they taste great, but they are loaded with all kinds of good stuff for your health.  You eat the white part on the inside.  It tastes unique.  The first time I tried one my taste buds where searching to try to identify something to compare it to.  I thought it had the texture of a plum with the taste of a tangerine.

IMG_0471Next we have a leechi.

These are very common here.  The outer hull is brissly.  The white fruit on the inside of the hull has a seed in the middle.  The white meat also has a unique taste.  I would compare it to a sweet green grape –  just not as juicy.

John’s gospel speaks of fruit that should remain.  This is spiritual fruit.  The mangosteen and leechi drop their fruit to the ground where it dies.  The germinated seed, as we know, can produce a lot of fruit after its kind.   Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (Jn. 12:24)  He is speaking about the result of his death on the cross, ressurrection from the grave and the receiving of the gospel message by those who believe.   Verse 25 is the charge to every believer to die to himself and find new life as defined by the Lord Jesus, that every believer should be able to bear fruit.

In no uncertain terms Jesus declares in John 15 that we are to bear fruit that should remain (vs.16).  To remain means that it would have been built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and will withstand the judgment of fire that is soon to come (1 Cor. 3:10-15).   We should be hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd as he directs our steps into everything we do.  This will be in conjunction with his word.  What Jesus leads us to do will be Holy, just as he is Holy.  To make sure what you are doing is of the Lord, try to ask yourself, “Is this something that Jesus would do?”  Avoid the correlation with the WWJD fad.  Think about Jesus in his ministry, who was about to lay down his life for his friends, and ask yourself if this is something he would do?

The unfruitful life is a very serious problem.  It can be one of two categories: 1) that which is empty and does not bear fruit; 2) that which defiles the temple.

The life that is empty of fruit, according to John 15:2 and 6, is “taken away” and “cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”  When a branch is burned, in this example, nothing is preserved.  The picture here does not speak of surviving the flames as one might associate with 1 Corinthians 3:15.  The branch that is taken away speaks of judgment.  The fruitless person needs to repent.

The “temple” in 1 Corinthians 3 is the individual believer’s body.  Notice verse 17 says that God will destroy the one who defiles his temple.  Is there any doubt what destroy means?  I don’t think so.  You need to meditate on what might equate to defilement.  Jesus would never lead a person to smoke, get intoxicated, get a tattoo [even if it’s a scripture verse], use curse words, lie, have a second marriage while your first spouse is living, accept witchcraft or astrology.  These are just a few things but  this is so serious.  Not many are willing to pay the price to get right with God these days.  Truth is that  anyone who is defiling the temple can and should repent.