I loved my grandma’s apple pies. To me there was nothing better than a fresh hot apple pie straight from the oven, covered with vanilla ice cream and eaten while it was still warm. Mmm Mmm good!
My grandparents lived in a simple house at the end of the road behind the now closed steel plant from which my grandfather had retired years earlier. The small fenced yard sprouted several large maple trees which provided cooling shade during a hot summer day. Also within the confines of that tiny yard was the huge Granny Smith apple tree, a sickle pear tree, and even a plum tree. Right outside the fence line was the neighbors Bing Cherry tree which every year produced thousands of dark red cherries. The eating kind.
Now you know why I loved grandma’s apple pie. The fruit came fresh from the tree in the backyard. I remember she would always bake one or two small pies just for us kids when she was baking the larger ones for herself and the neighbors.
O taste and see that the LORD is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalms 34:8 (RSV)
The smell of those pies filled the whole house and we could not wait until they came out of the oven to sink or teeth into those sweet desserts. Grandma made the best apple pies! I can tell you that my grandmother’s apple pies were the best on the planet but unless you actually tasted one you would never know how good they really where. I have eaten many an apple pie since my grandmother passed away but I have yet to find one that compares to those hot apple pies grandma made.
That is how it is with God as well. We need to catch a whiff of God’s goodness, we need to acquire a taste for the Lord. We need an enticement to sample the Lord’s offerings. But once we do, we taste and see how good the Lord is!
16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles 17 So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.18 A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits. Matt 7:16-20 (RSV)
As good as the fruit was from those trees in my grandparent’s back yard they were not able to satisfy the emptiness that resided within me. From a wide-eyed little boy running around grandma’s backyard until I became a young adult there was an emptiness that not even an apple pie could fill.
My life produced one bad crop after another until I finally got to the point where I needed to find another way of living. The crops I kept planting in my life were only producing weeds. Nothing about my life was working out the way I hoped they would. My tree of life was not producing any good fruit, and I knew it!
3 As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. Song 2:3 (RSV)
Just like grandma’s apple pie and sweet sickle pears that grew on the tree in her backyard, accepting Christ into my life was the sweetest thing that I had ever experienced. I tasted of the good fruit of heaven and found it totally satisfying. The tree of life held the sweetest fruit I had ever eaten. Not only was the fruit good to eat, but it also produced a good crop within me, and thusly started to produce good works around me. My life had been changed for the good! Thanks be to God!
The ingredients in grandma’s apple pie made for a good dessert but the ingredients in the Lord’s spirit made for a great life. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good and then go advertise His fruit offerings. Set up a fruit stand in your neighborhood and allow others to taste of God’s heavenly fruit. Introduce others to the life giving fruit of the Spirit of God. I pray that the sweet aroma of God’s love will waft through your neighborhood and others will want to try out what you have cooking inside your heart. That is how evangelism works. You get Jesus on the inside and He works on the outside drawing others toward Himself as they see how good He is to you by the good fruit your life is producing.
My grandparents are long gone as well as that tiny house they once lived in. The fruit trees are no longer producing fruit and that chapter of my life has come to an end. But the joy of knowing the Lord will live on through eternity. Granny smith apples and sickle pears are good but the fruit the Lord produces is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Now that is good eating! Bon Appetit!
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