Lessons From Apple Trees

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Lessons From Apple Trees

Post  dove on Sun 30 Dec 2007, 10:24 pm

The old apple tree in our backyard suffered neglect from the previous owners. It looked more like a very large bush than a tree. The first couple of falls in our new house I had small, delicious apples everywhere. I made apple pies, apple butter and applesauce. My mother-in-law taught me how to make apple jelly. It was fun learning how to can and freeze what we couldn't eat or give away.

But we had a problem. My husband and I knew nothing about pruning fruit trees. By the third fall, the apples were so small it took forever to core and peal enough to do much of anything with them. We called experts, but no one wanted to take on the job of pruning "the largest apple bush" they had ever seen. The apple tree finally had to be cut down.

The next fall, my mother-in-law too me to an apple orchard so I could have fresh apples for my pies, butter, sauce and jelly. These apples were large and beautiful and even more delicious than any from our neglected apple tree. What made the difference? The owners of the orchard knew how to care for their trees. Branches were thinned out each year. By the time the fruit was nearing picking in the fall, branches had to be propped up to keep them from breaking under their abundant loads.

For believers, John 15:1-8 holds lessons for our daily lives. The word picture her is not apple trees, but the parallels are the same. The first century audience Jesus was preaching to had never heard of an apple tree, but they knew a lot about the olive and fig trees that grew around them. Five lessons can readily be found in this passage.

Rooted In Christ

The branches of a tree are nothing by themselves. Minerals and water must first be taken in by the roots before they can be passed on to the trunk and finally to the branches. Christ is the vine or root from which we draw our nourishment for our Christian walk. We must be grounded and rooted in Christ. How can we be grounded? Study God's Word. Fellowship with other believers in a church where the Word of God is faithfully preached. Go to God regularly in prayer.

Fruitful Branches

The branches must draw their nourishment from the roots to bear fruit. The branches that don't drink richly wither up and die, and are soon cut away and thrown in a heap to be burned. In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul lists nine characteristics that should be present in a fruitful branch: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Are these characteristics part of our lives? Are we trusting in our own strength and in the danger of being thrown into the heap, or are we abiding in Christ?

Abundant Fruit

Our Faithful Gardener doesn't only command us to bear fruit. He also prunes us to enable us to bear more fruit, abundant fruit. What a wonderful promise. Pruning hurts, but our Faithful Gardener knows it is necessary. God takes out the pruning shears, cutting away the sins that hold back our productivity by bringing trails and hardships into our lives. We must trust Him to know how much pruning is needed. He never prunes away more than we can bear.

A few years ago, our youngest daughter needed major surgery. I can still hear her screams and harsh accusation: "A mother who loves me would never let them do this to me." My heart broke as my husband and I followed the stretcher that was taking our dear little girl to the operating room. All her young mind knew at that moment was fear; she though her parents were failing her and Mama was to blame. She couldn't understand that her bladder was not working properly and surgery was necessary.

"For He knows our frame: He remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:14 NKJV). Because our Faithful Gardener made us and knows us, we are assured of His good intentions for us. God would no more put a trial in our life that was not best for us than my husband and I would subject our daughter to a surgery that was not needful and best for her.

Answered Prayer

We know how to pray when we realize our source of strength and faithfulness comes from drinking deeply from the Bible, God's Word. When we study and pray and seek to know Christ in an ever-deepening, personal way our prayers turn from self-centered begging and pleading for what we think is best for us to Christ-centered desires for the things God knows is best for us . . . and He answers our prayers.

One way to see the difference between self-centered prayers and Christ-centered prayers is to read prayer written by the Puritans centuries before us. The Valley of Vision is a beautiful collection of Puritan prayers published through Banner of Truth. Theses prayers are full of Scripture.

God Is Glorified

When we produce large, useful and abundant fruit in our Christian lives, people around us see Christ, and God is glorified. We need to be fruit inspectors on a regular basis. Our tendency is toward being self-serving, making us inexperienced inspectors apart from God's watchful eye.

Frequently pray:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

(Psalm 139:23, 24 NKJV)

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com

dove
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Re: Lessons From Apple Trees

Post  WordofLife on Mon 31 Dec 2007, 8:04 am

Thank yu for such a nice article and I liked it very much.

In Christ

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Re: Lessons From Apple Trees

Post  lovemylord on Mon 31 Dec 2007, 8:08 am

I agree that it is nice way to explain and I enjoyed reading it.

God bless

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Re: Lessons From Apple Trees

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