The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:10
People in the business world expect their workers to produce for them. Workers are expected to do their job to earn what they are getting paid for. At the time of hiring, workers are given a list of what is expected of them. If he does not produce, he is warned, trained and then will be fired if he does not have good results.
John gave the people a warning that the ax was ready to chop down any tree not producing good fruit.
Those who grow fruit trees always expect each tree planted to grow fruit. They work hard on ensuring the tree is getting the needed nutrients from the soil, plenty of water and sun. As it grows, they will also take time to trim back branches to keep it in control and producing the desired fruit.
If the tree does not produce any fruit, it is cut down and thrown away. A new tree will replace the unproducing one.
This same principle works in the lives of people with God. God is always seeking believers who will produce fruit–living by His holy standards and doing what He says to do. It is easy for a person to say he believes in Jesus, however, it is another thing to live it.
Many believers claim to live for God, but are not producing Godly fruit. They are living to please themselves and others in the world. God will cut these people off from His salvation, if they do not repent and produce good fruit in their lives. Just like a farmer does not want to have to cut down a tree, God will do it also, though it is not His first choice.
Examine your life to see if you are producing good fruit or bad fruit. Good fruit is the fruit of living a holy life before God and obeying His commands. Bad fruit is any thing that is against God’s commands and desires for your life.
As long as you have breath, there is hope in Jesus. You can repent for bad or no fruit and then begin to produce good fruit. Seek the Holy Spirit to guide you, use you and help you produce the fruit God seeks in your life.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; that you will produce the fruit God is seeking; and that you will not give God a reason to cut you down.
This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ Zechariah 13:9
Testing of people is something required in most areas of life. It is commonly thought that testing is only for children and college students. However, adults, outside of school, get tested on a fairly regular basis.
Many workplaces require annual testing on various skills to ensure the workers keep up on those skills. Workplaces also get inspected often to ensure that they are following certain guidelines.
God said there would be a small remnant of Israel left, after being scattered, who would be tested in a fire. As they are tested they will call upon God and make Him their God.
Very few people like to be tested and no one likes to go through a fire. Both can be scary and may destroy a person. The bitter-sweet thing about being tested is that it can reveal both strengths and weaknesses.
As a fire, the testing can get rid of the bad parts, cleaning up the life of a believer in God. It can cause a person to run to God and trust Him in the process. The true remnant will run to God, the rest will run away, not trusting God.
In America and the world, God is doing a time of testing to see who will remain faithful to Him and who will fall away. This fire is to set to burn out the impurities of sin and corruption in the lives of believers. A remnant will come through to say God is their God and God will say that they are His people.
As you are going through a fire, tough and difficult times, you need to turn to God and trust Him. Allow God to be your God. He knows what is best for you and is allowing this time of testing in the fire. Allow God to burn out the impurities and distractions in your life.
When you allow God to clean you up by His testing, your testimony will be even greater. God will be able to use you even more in building His kingdom. You will be a brighter light shining for God in this dark world.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to test you; that you will make God your God; and that you will shine for Jesus.