Friday, April 28, 2017

Burning Christmas Trees & Bearing Fruit

A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. - Matthew 7:18-19
My pastor was recently going over this passage, which likens the produce of trees to the producing of spiritual fruit in the life of the Christian. Suddenly, an ironic thought struck me: at the end of the year, millions of Christmas trees get burned up. 
For many, these trees get put up for decoration in homes as part of the celebration of Christ's birth. They are pretty, enjoyed by many, and make for a festive atmosphere. They seem great for a time, but they yield no fruit. When their short season is over, they are completely useless and are cast into bonfires for disposal. 
If we continue reading Matthew 7, the passage on fruitfulness is followed up with this:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7:21-23
The lives of these trees are given up, supposedly to celebrate Christ (at least, in many Christian homes). In the end, they were nothing more than a temporary decoration, there for people to enjoy. Despite all appearances, they were never truly there for the sake of Christ.
Pray to the Lord that your life may be like that of a heavily-producing fruit tree rather than the celebrated but fruitless existence of the Christmas tree that is for Him by name only.

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