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Seeds of the Kingdom

Growing Fruit

by Peter Brokaar

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.
Isaiah 5:1-2, NIV

We have a tiny balcony on which I am growing some strawberries. It looks like we’ll get a good harvest this year and just about this time the first strawberry is turning red. I must say that somehow it is extremely satisfying to see the growth, to watch the process, and to live in anticipation of tasty fruit. A fair share of them will probably be consumed together with ice cream!

God says He too is watching over our growth and that He anticipates fruit in our lives, wonderful results of His investments in us. Perhaps because it is so relatable, the Bible uses many and varied analogies that compare us to all sorts of vegetation. Some examples:

Cedar and Palm Tree- Psalm 92:12-13  The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.

Fig tree- Jeremiah 11:16a The Lord called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form.

A plant- Jonah 4:10-11a  But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight.  And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh…?

Grain- Matthew 13:(18-)23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

Grapevine- John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

God enjoys watching us grow and He delights to invest in us, to create every possible circumstance so that we might bear fruit. But as I would be very disappointed if my strawberry plants produced no fruit, so God would not like it if we remain unfruitful. In today’s scripture from Isaiah God explains why He is not pleased with His people, in terms of them being an unfruitful nation. It helps us understand that, when we bear fruit, it brings the Lord joy! Our prayer and our desire really should be that we might bear fruit for God, for the glory of His name!

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.


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