Before expanding on our Fruitful Tree, let’s look at how Jesus used the mustard seed in his parable of the Kingdom of God. He noted that this seed was one of the very smallest, yet would grow to be one of the mightiest trees. He was teaching about how the Kingdom of God grows. This is true in how the Life of Christ, which starts out small within a new believer, grows into a mighty spiritual life, as in the cases of Jesus, Peter, Paul, John and many others. It is also true of the Body or Church of Christ which is growing throughout the world. A Kingdom that started with one man grew to 12, then 70, then 500, then 3000, to over two billion today! In both cases, He was teaching about the power of God (and the way of God) to take something small and seemingly meaningless, and turn it into a powerful world-changing force. He uses this power in the lives of those who follow Him daily, but at the same time, He gives you the ability to participate and allow Him to work in you in this way or not. Those who Ask, Seek, and Knock after Him find this amazing life exploding within and out of themselves, and are a part of the overall growth on His Kingdom in its triumph over Darkness.
Jesus taught often the principle of a tree bearing good fruit. He taught again and again that the tree had to be healthy for it to bear good fruit. He also warned that the unhealthy would be cut down (Mt 7:19). Again, understand that he was using the example of a tree to teach about people and their spiritual walks, but this principle is true across all areas of life. We particularly like this teaching from Luke because as Jesus teaches the principle, He moves from the symbol of a tree, to that of building a house with a proper foundation, another great metaphor for your financial house.
43″No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. 46″Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:43-49)
This principle must apply to our financial lives as well. As we Ask, Seek, and Knock on His door for wisdom in stewardship, He lays a foundation in our lives, which can support a mighty miracle in the way that our financial lives are able to impact the world. Some of the decisions may seem small at first, but they are critical and build upon each other to produce a mighty tree with delicious fruit. We are going to spend the next few posts going over the financial equivalents of Roots, Trunk, and Branches/Leaves/Fruit.
This post is _Part 2_ in a series about the Fruitful Tree. To continue with this series, click on Part 3. To use this as a growth tool to better understand stewardship, you might start by reading Pt 1.
Photo credit: Robert Scott Photography