While scrolling through social media there’s a good chance you’ve seen the image of a pineapple with the quote that says: “Be a pineapple: Stand tall. Wear a crown and be sweet on the inside.” I mean, who doesn’t want to develop into that? Did you know pineapples roots can extend past its leaves which can reach up to 5 feet long? It takes about six months just for the seed to sprout. During that time the baby plant can even be planted carefully into temporary growing containers. We see it takes a pineapple time to mature into what it’s supposed to be from the inside out. For any fruit, its seed must fall on good soil and have a deep root system for it to produce. An apple doesn’t just become an apple overnight. There are even preferred seasons for the pruning of an apple tree. The best time for it to be pruned is in late winter or early spring before new growth beings. Without it being watered, pruned and rooted nothing develops.
This led me into deeper thoughts of what it means to bear fruit in our own lives and where our focus should be for that to happen. What it means for us to bear fruit is found in Galatians 5:22-23. It tells us, “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” To produce these things we must be connected to the proper source. Fruit doesn’t produce without its root system. For fruit to produce in our own lives we must be rooted with Christ and His word.
God also sends people to plant and water seeds in the lives of others. 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 says, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”
In Matthew 13:5-8 Jesus tells the parable of the soils. I’m going to share some and break them into pieces:
– “Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died.”
-“Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants”.
-“Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted.”
In Matthew 13:20-23 explains what each of these parables means:
– “The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing in God’s word.
-The seed that fell among the thorns represent those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.”
-“The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.”
You see, we cannot chase after the fruit of life. We must chase after the root of life. It’s not all about looking good. It’s about being connected with the one who causes those things to happen in us in a genuine way.
Jesus teaches us that we must stay linked with him. In John 15:1-4 he says, “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” The statement “Remain and me, and I will remain in you is so powerful. It speaks of staying faithful to Christ and not becoming unproductive in following Him. It reminds us that it’s really about Him and not so much us. When we produce fruit it’s not for our glory but for His.
Right now maybe you’re an apple tree in its season of being pruned? You could be a baby seed that’s sure enough going to develop into a pineapple? You could be getting watered or about to sprout? Maybe you just got planted? You could already be rooted really deep? Maybe you’re not rooted at all but want to be? So many people are in different places right now. No matter where you’re at it’s okay as long as the main focus of it all is Jesus. He gets you through the process and even has specific things to be done in different seasons of life. Don’t get so busy craving the fruit that you forget about your root system. Stay in tuned and obedient to the Holy spirit; that is where we learn about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.