Ever wonder how many fruit-bearing tree species there are in the whole world? I did. And I have bad news. No one knows. The only answers I could find told me information like this: “Every tree that is not a gymnosperm is a fruit bearing tree?” That’s not helpful. So I looked up gymnosperm- any vascular plant that reproduces by means of an exposed seed, or ovule. Still not helpful. Wikipedia confidently states that there are an estimated 100,000 species of trees (but the truth is…who wrote that? Did you? Do you even know anything about trees?), but how many of those trees are not gymnosperms? I have already forgotten what that means. I may never know. Ready for my point?
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth. (Genesis 1:11)
Then He said, Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
I am like a tree.
Jesus said people can be recognized by their fruit. So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:17-20) He is referring specifically to false prophets in this sermon, but the principle applies to all of us.
Jesus even cursed a fig tree once when he found no fruit on it.
As I was talking with God this morning and reading these words, He released this revelation: I, like a tree, am meant to bear fruit in which is (my) seed, according to (my) kind. If I were made a plum tree, I am meant to bear plums, not apricots, or cherries, or figs. Yet I find myself comparing my fruit with all the other fruit around me. When I find that my plum is not like her apricot, I am disappointed, discouraged, and defeated, but my seed can only bear fruit according its kind. Plums!
The good news is, God is pleased with my plums, and your apricots, and that guy’s figs! He just wants fruit. He didn’t walk up to the fig tree and curse it because it wasn’t producing cherries! He cursed it because it wasn’t producing anything! He made me to bear fruit, and he knows what kind.
He also knows when. Bearing age for trees varies. For some trees, it’s one to two years, for others its five to seven. So I can’t look at my friend who is also 26 and say, “Man! Look at all her fruit already. She is bearing great things, and I, well, I don’t even know what I am bearing yet!”
Paul got it. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8)Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12)
The best part is, if I will be who God made me to be and bear the fruit He created me to bear, and you be who God made you to be and bear the fruit He created you to bear, and we do it in unity, side-by-side, then, together, we just may bear more fruit, better fruit, and new fruit like the world has never seen! It’s called grafting. Ever heard of a plumcot?