Fruit and Foundation

Luke 6: 43-49
1Tim 1:15-17 / Psa 113

A good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree is known by its own fruit.
(Luke 6:43)

Let God’s Word be our foundation
That we may live a life of truth;
Not only in our generation,
Our tree must be “known by its fruit.”

(Jesus said to His disciples,) “A good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree is known by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn-bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. That one is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the river struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river struck, that house collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.” (Luke 6:43-49)

Reflection

Just as a builder diligently prepares a strong foundation for his house, and a farmer spreads fertilizer on the ground for his trees to produce good fruits, so a true disciple of Jesus puts a premium in developing a healthy mind and spirit through study and a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, especially the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. This is how we store good things in our heart. At the proper time, as the Book of Ecclesiasticus advises, “Heed your own heart’s counsel, for you have no one you can depend more on; a man’s conscience often gives a clearer warning than seven watchmen perched on a watchtower. Most important of all, beg the Most High to guide your steps into the truth” (Sir.37:13-15).

The truth will always out, as the saying goes. What is inside cannot but be revealed by one’s words and deeds. St. James said: “If you consider yourself wise and learned, show it by your good life and let your actions, in all humility, be an example for others.” (Ja.3:13) Ever since they joined the Brotherhood, our friend James and his wife Flory have been model parents to their three children. Both diligent and hard-working, they still found time for their assigned ministry, at times sacrificing quality time with their children. Their son Jay had found a good job, but his growing independence was making him rebellious. Flory had given her bible to her son, and asked him to find time to read the Scriptures. Recently, she emailed us to say that their relationship with Jay had improved considerably. He had become conscientious in sharing house work (they have no maid), and no longer talks back to his parents. God’s Word has begun to build the spiritual foundation of his life.

Just like constructing a house, wisdom dictates that we first put in a good foundation in our life before we start building our individual careers. This is the best value that parents can bequeath to their children. Jesus said it is a wise man who digs deeply to lay his foundation on solid rock. Obviously, our Lord was referring to no other but Himself as the Rock. King David reigned successfully because he laid the foundation of his kingdom on God. His beautiful psalm says it so well: “I love you, O LORD, my strength, LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God… Be my rock and refuge, my secure stronghold, my fortress…” (Psalms 18:2-3; 71:3).

LORD, make me realize that my life is not made secure by building my hopes on the sands of worldly riches that will easily be washed away. Let your Spirit draw me instead to Your Word, upon which my faith will be made secure, and no floods or storms can overcome. Amen.

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