Grow | Devotion #1: Milk, Meat, and Apples
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor
We have some apple trees in our yard. They have been there for quite some time and produced apples in abundance! One of the trees was producing fruit year after year and suddenly died. We had to remove it. The remaining trees continue to produce apples. That one tree produced good fruit until it died.
Some trees live for many years and never produce fruit, or at least good fruit. They do not have good soil or do not receive enough sunlight or water. The life of the tree may be long, but the fruit is not good. People are the same. Some keep growing, maturing, and producing fruit until the day they die. Some just “exist,” not maturing or producing fruit.
We continue to grow physically as we age. But more importantly, we must continue to grow in maturity. God has placed us here to be used by Him until the day we leave this Earth. Whether you are 20, 50, or 90 years old, being in the Word, listening to sermons, and praying, we continue to grow in God’s Word and share the Good News with others. I have a friend whose mother has Alzheimer’s and even though she cannot remember names, or recent events, she sings hymns all day long and is ministering to the staff and visitors at the nursing home. God still uses her for His glory! I had another dear friend who has now passed on to eternal life with her Heavenly Father. In her last years, she could not walk or see, but she could pray. She prayed day and night for our leaders, our country, and individuals. She was one of the godliest women I have ever met and was used by God until the day she died. She never stopped learning, growing, and maturing in her relationship with her Lord and Savior.
The Bible speaks of producing fruit, vines, and branches over and over. John 15:5 is an example of this, “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.” Also, Matthew 7:17 adds, “So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit” (Hint – the disease is sin.).
Just because we grow old does not mean we are mature, especially spiritually mature. Oswald Chambers said, “Spiritual maturity is not reached by the passing of the years, but by obedience to the will of God.”
New Christian’s need spiritual milk (1 Corinthians 3:2; 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12). But as we learn the Word of God, grow in our relationship with Jesus, listen to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and follow the will of God (turning away from sin), then we begin to mature spiritually and begin to long for the meat (solid food). 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 says, “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh.”
Are you ready for the solid food? Or are you content drinking milk? God desires more for you. He wants a relationship with you that is not just superficial; it is meaningful and deep. It is reading the Bible, it is praying, and it is sharing your “story” (testimony) and His “story” (the Gospel) with others. Be like the apple tree and continue to produce fruit until your end on Earth. Do not waste a day!