Spring flowering trees that are blossoming in October? What is going on? As I look out my bedroom window I see clusters of rosy-colored crabapple blossoms. The tree has been confused by our uncharacteristically warm weather. Spring blooming trees set their flower buds for the following spring in the summer. The extra warmth of our autumn brought those buds into bloom. Now I am seeing both flowers and fruit on the same tree.
Like the crabapple tree, Christians are to blossom and bear fruit. God made it clear to the Israelites that He wants priests who blossom and bear fruit to minister to Him. He instructed Moses to place a staff from the leaders of each tribe in the Tent of Testimony. "The next day Moses entered the Tent of Testimony and saw that Aaron's staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds." (Numbers 17:8) This was a confirmation that those in the tribe of Levi were to perform duties in the Tent of Testimony and minister before the Lord.
Jesus dealt with the issue of spiritual unfruitfulness while He was walking with the disciples from Bethany to Jerusalem through the cursing of an unproductive fig tree (representing Israel). "The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to find out if it had any fruit. When He reached it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then He said to the tree, 'May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And His disciples heard Him say it." (Mark 11:12-13)
God's desire for us to blossom and bear fruit for His Kingdom is talked about in Isaiah 27:6. "In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit." How can we increase our season of bloom and fruit bearing? The crabapple tree blossomed out of season because of the warm environment around it. We must be atmosphere changers!
God rewards those who seek Him with all their hearts. (Jeremiah 29:13) Let us ask the Lord to draw us unto Himself. "Take me away with you--let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers." (Song of Solomon 1:4) Let us strengthen our faith. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6-NAS) Let us be diligent in our pursuit of the Lord and watch the flame of love bring us into blossom and increasing fruitfulness.
Joan E. Mathias