Short Meditations in Psalms:1.3b Life Fruit
Psa 1:3 Which yields its fruit in season
The thing about meditating or reflecting on a particular verse of part of a verse is that you come to realise a number of things you might not see otherwise. Remember, first of all, this analogy is about a man who hold God’s will before himself at all times and as such he is like a tree next to streams of water, having an abundant supply so that it grows. That we have noted so far about these two verses.
But note next that this analogy expects a tree to be fruitful. All plants bear some sort of fruit or seed, it is the way they reproduce. The analogy must surely be taken to mean that if this is us, we will bear fruit. Jesus taught about being a vine and we are branches that bear fruit (see Jn 15:1,2,16). The apostle Paul spoke about us “bearing fruit in every good work” (Col 1:10) and that we should “bear fruit to God” (Rom 7:4). The apostle James spoke about us bearing “good fruit… a harvest of righteousness.” (Jas 3:17,18). The expectation is clearly that as Christians we will ‘bear fruit’ in our lives – goodness, love, righteousness. How many Christians, I wonder, are content to potter through life remaining exactly the same and having little or no impact on the world around them?
The teaching of Jesus, James and this psalm, is that we should be growing and impacting the world by our lives. The thing about fruit is that it grows naturally. It is not something you have to struggle to produce. As you feed on God and on His word, changes will take place in you and one of them will be that you will take on characteristics that we suggested above.
The key to being fruitful? Well in Jesus’ words it was abiding in him: “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (Jn 15:4) This ‘abiding’ or ‘remaining in’ Jesus is what the man in these verses in psalm 1 does. He focuses his life on Jesus, is sensitive to God’s will, what Jesus wants, and what his Spirit prompts. For us today it is more than simply God’s word (although that is the vital starting place), it is also being sensitive to His indwelling Holy Spirit who guards and guides us, who teaches us and warns us and who affirms right and warns against wrong.
But there is yet another thing about this fruit and it is seen in the words, “in season”. It doesn’t come straight away. It requires planting of the seed – see Jesus’ parables that speak of seed planting, e.g. Mt 13:3- (Sower), Mt 13:31 & 17:20 (Mustard seed) and Mt 25:24 (Talents) It also requires watering and waiting. Fruit grows. It starts small and then develops into the full fruit, and it takes time to do that. Don’t focus on growing, focus on feeding and drinking and in due season the fruit will be there.