Beyond the Weekend

August 11 | The Tree and The Fruit

August 11, 2021


By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:16

Read: Matthew 7:16-20
Matthew 7


Jesus uses a metaphor of trees and fruit to help his listeners understand how to discern the voices they hear. This illustration would have made a lot of sense in their agrarian society. A thornbush or thistle doesn’t produce grapes or figs. Jesus reminds them that good trees and plants produce good and useful fruit. Bad trees and plants, on the other hand, do not. The same is true of those who claim to speak for or about God. It’s through their fruit that someone determines if they are connected to Jesus.

We must ask the same question of the voices in our lives. Followers of Jesus should be marked as those who are poor in spirit, peacemakers, love their enemies and focus not just on outward actions but the inward condition of their hearts. Pastor Jeff Manion told us this weekend that love is an overarching theme of the teaching of Jesus. Right before his death, Jesus equates fruitful living with loving others as he loved us (John 15:12). The most important thing to look for is sacrificial action done in word, deed and tone.

The voices in our lives must be consistent with Jesus’s teachings. When they are, there’s a greater chance we will be people with lives marked by sacrificial actions done in word, deed and tone. Let us be people who strive, even if imperfectly, to reflect Jesus’s heart to those around us.


Think of someone you can show sacrificial love to today. Perhaps you show it to a coworker, a family member or someone you just met. Maybe it is going the extra mile in your responsibilities at work or home. It might be speaking a kind word to lift someone up or bring peace. Find a way to show someone the love of Jesus today.


Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.

Today’s reading is 2 Corinthians 9.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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