Thoughts on Matthew 7:15-20
Beware of false prophets who appear as sheep, gentle and peaceable but on the inside are ravenous wolves, ready to devour to satisfy their hunger. Beware of those who claim to be forwarding the kingdom, but are in fact forwarding their own agenda.
Of course, the Spirit inspects my soul before looking outward. Oh, Lord, please keep me true. Let the me I present match the me that beats inside my heart and let it be authentic and honoring of your Lordship and the people you love.
Jacob presented himself as his brother in order to steal Esau’s blessing. Isaac was fooled. Barbara pretended to care about me to gather information she could use as power. I naively fell for it. I have offered concern for others as a means to accomplish my goal, forgive me and check me so I do not do this again.
You have said “we will know them by their fruits.” A cherry tree only grows cherries. Some cherries are rotten, ruined by insect, weather or disease. My hope is to produce “cherries” in accordance with your law of love. My crop is not always bountiful and sometimes my cherries are rotten, tainted by pride, greed, fear. Some are immature, sour to the taste because they have not gathered the sweetness that develops as they remain connected to the tree.
Lord, be the master farmer who tends this cherry tree of yours. Guard me against external harm that would ruin my fruit, and against silent, but deadly disease that seeks to destroy the sweetness of your Spirit’s work. Offer through me life and sweetness.
And teach me to pay attention to the fruit other people’s ministry bears in my life. Does it promote a stronger connection to you? Does it increase the Spirit’s fruit in my heart? Does it move me to love others in word and deed? If so, blessings on that life-bringer. And let me share with them the gift they have given me. If not, grant me the grace to let them go without judgment. Thank you and amen.
Dear friend, learn from my example. Let me be your cherry tree, and let the Lord be the farmer who tends your fruit.
With you on the journey,