The root determines the fruit.
For two reasons…it is the indicator of the type of plant it is and therefore the fruit it produces and is the source of the nutrients the plant needs.
If the base of the vine or tree is bad, it is certain the branches will not produce the fruit the Gardener intends.
Jesus said, (John 15:1,5 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. …4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
To produce the fruit the Father desires one must remain planted in Jesus…and his words. Being connected to Jesus is our grounding, our strength, and our nutrition that allows us to produce fruit the Father desires.
But how do I know if I am planted in Jesus?
Consider these verses from Hosea 10:1-2:
Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones. 2 Their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will demolish their altars and destroy their sacred stones.
Hosea points out two things that were happening to God’s people…that indicated they WERE NOT planted in the Lord.
First, they “brought forth fruit for himself.” All the activities of Israel were NOT being done for the name of the LORD and the following of his Word. They were being done for the self interest and promotion of themselves. Ironically the fruit looked good the “land prospered.” But this leads to the second indicator that we aren’t planted in the LORD…”their heart is deceitful.” Their hearts were believing the lie of the false gods that outward success and accumulation of stuff was the fruit their Father desired. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
The result? The Lord demolished their altars and destroyed their sacred stones.
We may not have altars and stones set up to false gods, but our hearts can be deceived to think that outward gain, notoriety or possessions are indicators of a noble purpose. They are not. In fact the outward things can be deceptive of an inner problem…a heart NOT planted in the Lord.
This is why Jesus teaches, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Sure, we can have a career, have success and even impact people…but without a grounding in Jesus, the fruit will not be to the Father’s liking or glory, because the planting of the heart was in self, not Jesus.
On the other hand, we know our purpose is being found in the right place when our hearts are rooted in Jesus and his truth. John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
When we are planted in Jesus, it means his life-giving words of Jesus are flowing through us and molding our minds, guiding our hearts, and directing our actions. Only when we are planted in Jesus, can we discover our life purpose, since at the heart of our life’s purpose is simply producing fruit the Father enjoys. The root does determine the fruit!
Apply: Check those things that you have connected to your purpose. Are they rooted in self or rooted in Jesus?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for calling out the deception of our hearts that loves to attach our purpose to worldly fame and fortune. Forgive us for Jesus sake and reorient our hearts to ALWAYS be planted in Jesus. AMEN.