Growing up in the citrus belt of Florida, I always enjoyed this time of year. Often when the last of the fruit was being harvested, there would be orange trees blooming at the same time. The air was filled with the smell of citrus being processed and also the super-sweet smell of orange blossoms. The trees in my neighborhood that were cared for had a bounty of good fruit, better than anything you could find in a store. The ones that were neglected often had fruit that was malformed, or would just rot on the branch.
When we read this passage from Matthew’s gospel, we have a good example about spiritual “good fruit” and “bad fruit.” If you tend to your spiritual health – reading scripture, praying earnestly, serving in Christ’s name, and caring for God’s people, you can bear the kind of spiritual fruit that lasts and strengthens your faith. The fruit of the Spirit as Paul describes it in his letter to the Galatians is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22) and there are no laws or rules that will negate this kind of good fruit. It is time that we nurture our spirituality.
Prayer: Father, prune me, water me, nurture me, so that I may bear good fruit in your kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Randy Conley, Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Hubbard Lake, MI.