I think my favorite song lyric of all time (excluding the Psalms) would be this song by John Dowland: "Must I praise the leaves where no fruit I find?" ***
So... reflecting... I reflect continually almost to a fault, but this is the time of the year for reflecting, so I will share some of those reflections.
Reflecting on fruit bearing...
God wants us to "bear fruit"... good fruit too! If we are not bearing good fruit, God will not praise our leaves. In fact, He warns us in Luke 3:9 that "even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” But we are not left to fear and wonder about our fruit. Jesus gives us a good lesson on fruit in John 15. Verse 5 says,
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
Abiding in Jesus is the key to bearing fruit, and in fact, it is the only way we can!
So aside from the usual resolutions about being more frugal, washing all of the dishes after every meal, drinking more water and taking my vitamins every day, I'm resolving to make this a year for fruit-bearing, and I hope that you will too.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on His law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.May 2012 be a fruitful year for you and for God's kingdom!
*** It's from "Can She Excuse My Wrongs?" written in the late 1500's. You can hear Sting do a fabulous version here.