Our scripture this morning is Matthew 7:15-20.
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
We are told that “actions speak louder than words”. I looked for the original source of this statement but couldn’t find an authoritative answer. However, Jesus tells us “you can identify people by their actions” (v. 20), meaning we should believe what people do rather than what they say.
Jesus also says “a good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit” (v. 17). As I’ve said before, unlike plants we have choices as to what fruit we produce. We are given free will and can choose between good and evil.
There is another lesson here – that of not producing any fruit. Inaction is often as harmful as evil action. We are called to be active members of Christ’s family, using the gifts we have been given to show God’s love to everyone. When our words and our actions are in line with what He taught, we produce good fruit.
Loving Lord, we are blessed by the gifts You give us. Help us to lead fruitful lives, telling the world of the joy we have found in You. Amen.