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The Jesus Tree

By Larry R. Lasiter

© 2010

  "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men to Me." John 12:32

 This Scripture transformed my life, my family and my Church. Jesus was referring to the fact that He would be lifted up and crucified on the cross, but to me it revealed a principle that radically changed my prospective in my Christian walk - Jesus must be above all and the center of everything. Jesus is referred to as the "Promised Seed" which is planted in every Christian by the agency of the Holy Spirit.

It is Christ in us that is our hope for glory. And it is Christ in us through the Holy Spirit that has the power to produce the blessed and necessary fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5 - "love", "patience", "goodness", "kindness", "self-control", "faithfulness", etc.

 No one can truly bear these fruits of themselves without the abiding life of Christ living in them. When we consider a seed we understand that it can only produce after itís own kind. An apple seed can produce an apple-bearing tree but cannot produce a tree that bears oranges.

 Every kind of seed is genetically pre-dispositioned to reproduce itís own kind. Likewise, since we are all products of the fallen seed of Adam, we cannot produce the Spiritual fruit of the Spirit without first being born again in Christ.

 Christ must be first. He is the Teacher and Author of our salvation and the Teacher must be exalted above the teachings. The Israelites received the teachings of the Lord but did not seek His Person. Jesus is the Seed which must be first planted before there can be any expectation of the manifestation of the fruits.

We can read and see what the fruits of the Spirit are and can even try to act "loving", "patient", "good", "kind", "faithful" or like we have "self-control", but without Christ in us they are only artificial. Sometimes itís hard to tell the difference between artificial fruit and real fruit by just looking, but very easy when you put it to the test by taking a bite out of it.

 As Christians, we sometimes view ourselves as branches on the Jesus tree. Jesus said that He was the Vine and we are the branches and that every branch that fails to bear good fruit will be cut off and cast into the fire. We can see that we are supposed to bear the fruit of joy so we can act as if we have joy by hanging a little joy-fruit on our faces. We can see that we are supposed to bear the fruit of self-control and tape a little self-control fruit on us for others to see. But when these are artificially produced by the natural man they are not real, have no life in them and is only a deception that benefits no one.

The Pharisees of Jesusí day knew how to act righteous but it was only the outward manifestation of the artificial. Jesus said, -"But they do their deeds to be noticed by men" and "You outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy." (Matt.23) They were so deceived that they did not know the difference between the artificial and the real.

 But we need not be deceived. Let us realize that we cannot do what only Christ can do. Only the Spirit can produce Spiritual fruits. Only the Spirit can produce the life of Christ in us. Let us allow the Father to plant the Promised Seed deeply within our hearts and submit to His will. When we get out of the way and allow Christ to live His perfect life in us we will yield a bountiful spiritual harvest for the Lord that will be a blessing for all.

The teachings of God are made evident in the life of Jesus. When we give Him control He will walk His perfect walk in our life. "Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh." (Gal.5) There is no artificial fruit on the Jesus Tree.

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries