Looking through the dusty attic boxes we had obtained from family last year, I found some beautiful fruit. The grapes, pears and apples carved out of shiny transparent glass resembled real fruit. They are beautiful heavy pieces for display only, but not very edible. In my childhood home our dining table displayed a shimmering ceramic bowl filled with colorful fruit. Fake plastic fruit was the new thing- as decoration. Looking real from a distance, it was fake.
How can we tell when the fruit in our lives are real or fake? All people want to show love and patience and kindness to mankind. We try really hard to make it look real and desire to have the real thing.
John 15:6 says – “Separated, you can’t produce a thing…” (The Message) Even my best efforts to love, be patient, be kind and have self-control cannot produce the real thing. Only knowing Jesus personally and accepting that I cannot do a thing without Him in my life makes me dependent on Him. As I depend on the Vine, then He can produce the love and patience I need for others, the joy when I’m discouraged, the self-control when I want to be impulsive and the peace when I am worried.
These next few days I will celebrate with other believers around the world, the saddest and yet most joyous event in history– the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He came to save us from being separated from God, just like a dead branch on a tree is separated from the life giving sap. When we come to Jesus and trust in Him there is a new branch that grows from the vine and has new life. That branch will bear real fruit from the new life Jesus gives it. I’m glad that many years ago I accepted that gift of life through Jesus. This week I will take time to rejoice that Jesus produces the real fresh fruit in my life as I continue to grow with Him. Who wants hard cold plastic fruit anyway?
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.” John 5:12 (NLT)