“Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day.”
Genesis 1:11-13 NLT
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
Revelation 22:1-2 ESV
The Bible begins and ends - Alpha and Omega - with fruitfulness. In Genesis, God made every plant able to reproduce according to its own kind. The same with fish, animals and humans. In the last chapter of Revelation, when all evil has been conquered and all things restored and made new, perfect fruitfulness continues through the tree of life, bearing a different kind of fruit every month, and providing healing through its leaves.
Jesus repeatedly uses the metaphor of fruitbearing to measure the effectiveness of the lives of His own people, pointing out the failure of the Jewish leaders to bear fruit for God, and exhorting those who follow Him to do so.
Fruitfulness is assumed in God’s creation, and in Christ’s Kingdom. Healthy plants, animals and people produce “fruit.” Likewise spiritually healthy souls. It is part of God’s design and expectation.
Oh Lord, help me to bear fruit this year that pleases and glorifies You. Bear fruit through the life you have placed in me. As you have given me new life, give new life to others through Your life in me. Help each member of my family to do so as well. This is what you made us - and remade us - for.
Dr. Larry Sherbondy directs The Navigators ROTC Ministry. He and his wife, Rita, have been on staff with The Navigators for over 40 years. Larry also served for 25 years as in the US Air
Force Reserve, retiring in the rank of Lt Col. He and Rita live in Carlisle, PA, and have two married children and seven grandchildren.