Reading: Proverbs 11:25-31
Matthew and Michael were riding horses with their Daddy around their ranch. They stopped briefly now and then to check the wires on their fence lines to make sure none of them were damaged. Once in a while they paused to look at tracks in the dirt. The boys enjoyed guessing what kind of tracks they saw.
One the way home, Daddy picked a pod off of a mesquite tree. The bean pod was still green and beginning to bulge with beans. He broke it open and showed it to the boys. “These beans were eaten by native Americans and pioneers that lived here. They’re not too tasty, but they’re easy to gather. It can be dried and pounded into meal for baking. Some folks just ate it straight off the tree. Tell me boys, what kind of tree would you expect to grow from a mesquite bean?”
Matthew smiled. “Why, a mesquite tree, Daddy. That’s the only thing that can grow from it.”
“Not a pecan tree? Not a cottonwood tree?” his father asked in a teasing voice.
Michael laughed and said, “No!”
Daddy rolled the beans from the pod into his hand and smiled. “Every seed that is planted bears its own fruit. That’s a lesson we learn from the Bible. God is just, and men will be rewarded for their good deeds and their bad. When men plant seeds of unkindness and anger, then this will be rewarded with pain and difficulty. But when we sow seeds of love and righteousness, God notices this. He promises us the tree of life in Heaven, and sometimes we can win souls to Him as well. This is good, holy fruit for God.”
For Further Study:
- Read Proverbs 11:29. What do you think it means to “trouble your own house”? What does this Proverb promise about those who do so? What do you think this says about the way we should treat our parents, siblings, and others in our home? See Ephesians 6:1-4 and Colossians 3:18-21 to find more commandments for families.
- Make a list of the kind of “fruit” you would like to bear for God. You can find some examples in Galatians 5:22-23. Some other suggestions are: a happy family, that a certain someone will learn more about Christ, that I will be more knowledgeable to the Word. Write these things in a column. Next to each item, list what kind of “seeds” you would have to sow in order to bear this fruit. Will you have to learn how to be less angry? Will you have to learn how to be more confident? Will you have to change your schedule or pick new friends? Try to be specific. A gardener doesn’t just randomly plant whatever seeds he finds; he plans and prepares so that he’ll have a good harvest. We should too!