Famished after a long day of hard labor, the men looked forward to picking some oranges from the orange trees that lined the road home. One of them spotted a tree that had the best-looking oranges, and hastily climbed on the tree and threw down some oranges. The men hungrily peeled off the orange skins, just to find themselves moaning in disappointment. As great as the oranges looked on the outside, they were all dried up and sickly inside.
In 2 Kings 2:19-22 we read about a city that was said to be ‘well-situated’, but offered nothing but deep disappointment its inhabitants and to anyone who ventured into it. Why? Because it carried a river of death. According to the residents of the city, the water of the river that flowed through the city was poisonous.
The city was ‘well-situated’ in that it was located on top of a hill, and travelers could see it from miles away, and would look forward to getting to it, so they could get some much-needed water to quench their thirsts. But alas, when they got there, they were told the water from the river is deadly.
The Lord Jesus said in John 7:38 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (JUBILEE BIBLE 2000 version.)
So it is expected that a believer MUST carry the water of life that Christ gives. And as people expected to find good water in that city because they expected that such a well-situated city must have good water, so do people expect only goodness out of believers for the fact that we are supposed to carry the water of life. Because of what we carry, we are ‘well-situated’, ‘well-positioned’ to do so much good in the world around us! And when people know that we are Christians, they expect only that good to come out of us. Being believers makes us representatives of Christ! It makes us people who can provide solution to problems, healing to sicknesses and diseases, comfort to the sorrowful, aid to those in need, salvation to the lost sinners, etc., just as Prophet Elisha was called to do for that city. Like Elisha, we are to use the living waters of Christ that flows within us, to provide remedy for the bad situations that we encounter.
Right in the middle of the garden of Eden God planted two trees: The tree of life and the tree of death (tree of knowledge of good and evil). He forbade Adam and Eve from eating of any fruit from the tree of death. So Adam and Eve freely ate of the tree of life. That tree of life was Jesus Christ, and each time Adam and Eve ate from it, they partook more of the Lord Jesus and nourished their spirits and stayed alive and well spiritually in God. The day they ate of the tree of death, their spirits died and their relationship with God suffered a severe and critical setback.
Through salvation, this death is kicked out of our spirits, and the life of Christ is restored in us. Through Christ, we begin to receive the same nourishment that the tree of life used to give to Adam and Eve! Jesus was that tree of life, and as His representatives, we are, therefore, supposed to display the characteristics of the tree of life. !
As Apostle Paul explained in Romans 11:24 , believers are like wild olive trees that are grafted into a good olive tree. Meaning that we as individuals, are literally incorporated into the Lord Jesus, so that we are now a part of Him, as Apostle Paul declared so eloquently in Acts 17:28: “for in him we live and move and have our being.”
Therefore, as believers we are branches on the Tree of life that is Jesus-Christ, and so we must carry and display the characteristics of the Tree of life. THIS MEANS THAT NO BAD FRUITS SHOULD EVER BE FOUND ON US! Every fruit on us as branches of the Tree of life must bear nothing but the goodness, love, purity, help, healing, solutions, charity, mercy, strength and power of God that are found in Christ! WE MUST NEVER BEHAVE LIKE PEOPLE WHO ARE PART OF THE TREE OF DEATH! WE MUST NEVER BE PEOPLE WHO CARRY WATERS OF DEATH, AND WHOSE FRUITS BRING NOTHING BUT DISAPPOINTMENT, HURT, SORROW AND PROBLEMS TO OUR FELLOW MEN!
We must not be people who lead others to their spiritual death; who kill with our tongues and our deeds; who offer bad advice and bad solutions; who fan the flames of discord among people instead of seeking for peace to reign among people; who see the needy all around us and do nothing about it; who make no efforts to share the knowledge of Christ around the world. Rather BECAUSE WE’RE IN A PLACE, IT MUST MEAN THAT GOD IS THAT PLACE! The people in that place must benefit from the fact that a representative of God is in that place!
Your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors must benefit from the fact that you exist in their lives. They must have heard the Good News because you have shared it with them; they must know that God is a great God because they see the great things He does in your life; They must have experienced the love, joy, peace and goodness of Christ because they have interacted with you and seen you demonstrate those godly qualities.
It’s an inescapable fact of life that we can only exhibit the type of fruit we carry within us, even as the Lord made it plain in Matthew 7:20 “…so that by their fruits ye shall know them.” (JUBILEE BIBLE 2000)
Trees of life don’t produce bad fruits. True believers in Christ don’t produce bad fruits. So what fruits do you carry? Good-looking fruits that look great on the outside but are rotten and dry inside? Or fruits that bring nothing but great satisfaction and joy to those that are privileged to get a taste of your character?
Therefore, I implore you dear believer, in the name of our Master Jesus, to understand the kind of person you are to be as a representative of heaven, and to determine yourself to live up to that expectation for the rest of your time on this earth, to His glory! Your character is your fruit. Therefore, endeavor to develop and build a character that is founded on the holy teachings of Christ our Master, and on the definition of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, given to us in Galatians 5:22-23: “…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance…” (KJV)
Go and show the world the beauty and glory of God-Most-High!