Gleanings – The Jerry Maguire Test – Show Me the Fruit!

Colossians 1:1-14 and Matthew 3:7-12

“Bear fruits that befit repentance.”

Bear fruit. We are expected to bear fruit. The expectation is clear in the words of John the Baptist? And it is not any fruit but fruit appropriate to our new direction in life, our new reality that we have turned around and are no longer fleeing God. We can’t rely upon our heritage. We can’t rely upon baptism. Externals don’t matter. It should be evident in our manner of life that we have turned. The Holy Spirit and fire produce something.

It is clear in Colossians as well. Paul says the Gospel is bearing fruit throughout the world. Indeed the life redeemed by Jesus is meant to bear fruit that is pleasing to the Redeemer. When we call to mind the first eight verses of John 15, the circle is complete. Pre-Jesus, Jesus, and post-Jesus, all indicate we are to bear fruit.

So a simple question – what fruit has the Gospel borne in you as of late?

We could do the quick test. Do I have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in increased measure? Am I loving better? Am I reacting less (patience, self-control)?

The more difficult test is what is divine quality in us that other’s notice or envy? The fruit confirms we are disciples (John 15:8). What do others see Jesus doing in us such that they want to experience it for themselves?

A last look – where has my devotional reading and prayer life led me to noticeable or measurable change of heart?

Such self-examination leads me to rejoice that it is the Holy Spirit and the Vine that produce the fruit. Because the “grade” confirms what Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

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