“You will know them by their fruit.
Do people get bunches of grapes from thorny weeds,
or do they get figs from thistles?
In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit,
and every rotten tree produces bad fruit.
A good tree can’t produce bad fruit.
And a rotten tree can’t produce good fruit.
Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit
is chopped down and thrown into the fire.
Therefore, you will know them by their fruit.”
Jesus makes an observation: Good trees produce good fruit, and bad trees produce bad fruit. By making this observation, he is posing a question: What kind of tree are you? Character, Jesus says, is determinative for how we speak and act. We produce fruit in accordance with our character.
The worshiping community, the church, is the space we enter to be trained as disciples of Jesus. Worship, rightly focused upon God, renders us new creatures. Our hearts are transformed. We are made holy. And our lives then begin to evidence this transformation before the world. Worship is not behavior modification but renovation, all to God’s glory.
Loving and Merciful God, help me to turn my entire life over to you,
so that my actions might bring you joy. Amen.