Luke 13:6  He spoke this parable. “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none.

13:7  He said to the vine dresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this figg tree, and found none.  Cut it down.  Why does it waste the soil.’

13:8  He answered, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it, and fertiflize it.

13:9 If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.”

John 15:2  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

John 15:6  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the first and burned.


There is always much discussion and quite a bit of confusion many times about the question of saved by Grace versus saved by works.  Jesus, Our Blessed Lord, settled this question perfectly with the parable of the tree not bearing fruit at first and then receiving further care before any decision about the worth of the tree should be reached.

As you know from a previous post of mine, last week, I was blessed to grown up on a family farm and be involved in the daily care of animals and crops.  This included work in our family orchard.  There I learned the steps the vine dresser in the parable above recommended to the vineyard owner.  I will just expand on these steps somewhat here and include with each step what the work of the Christian should be in tending to The Lord’s vineyards in this world AND what the Christian should expect of himself or herself with regards to the verses from John, Chapter 15, listed above.

1.  DETERMINE PROPER BEARING AGE FOR THE FRUIT TREE:  The age from planting when trees can expected to bear fruit depends on the type of fruit tree you have planted.  Bearing age can range from two years to seven years.  How much of a babe in Christ is the person being ministered to?  How much of a babe in Christ are YOU?

2.  KEEPING THE TREE HEALTHY:  All trees must, first and foremost, be kept free of insects and diseases and have any diseased parts promptly removed to preserve the health of the tree.  Are you careful in keeping a temptation free, anxiety free, judgmental free atmosphere around those to whom you wish to minister?  How careful are you to keep away the insects and diseases of ambition, greed, unforgivingness, impatience away from yourselves as you work in His vineyards?

3.  CLIMATE AND WEATHER:  The correct climate and weather conditions must be involved in order for the tree to flourish to fruitfulness.  In some locations, although a particular type of fruit tree may grow, the fruit may not be able to grow to maturity because the growing season is not long enough for that species.  Have you shown discretion in choosing which sorts of venues are appropriate for which type of folks to whom you wish to ministers?  Are these settings tolerant enough and supportive enough for each individual to have the best chance of maturing to fruitfulness?  Are you keeping yourself in the best places, both physically and mentally and emotionally, to promote spiritual fruitfulness within yourself?

4.  POLLINATION:  Some varieties of fruit trees are self-pollinating.  Some are not.  They must be planted very near a variety of tree that will pollinate them.  Without sufficient pollination, they may blossom abundantly but will not bear fruit.  In addition,  it must be always remembered that spring-flowering buds of most hardy fruit trees are formed during the previous spring or summer.  Therefore, an especially heavy crop one year may prevent adequate bud formation for the following year or may seriously weaken the tree.    Are you mixing and mingling those to whom you minister with the proper spiritual “pollinators”?  Are you mindful that “there is a season and a time for all things” in order to remember that someone who has borne plentiful spiritual fruit in one season may be justified in receiving a “breather” in the next season?  Are you placing yourselves in proximity with good “pollinators”?  Are you giving yourself appropriate “breathing” season between times of heavy  fruit-bearing?

5.  CULTIVATION PRACTICES:  Fruit trees need good cultural practices during the season to maintain an adequate number of good leaves for quality fruit production.  About 30-40 good-sized, healthy leaves are needed to produce one good-quality apple!  Trees need full sunlight for best production.  AVOID PLACING FRUIT TREES WHERE THEY WILL BE SHADED BY BUILDINGS OR BY OTHER TREES!  To reduce competition from weeds or grass, cultivation, mulching, and insect prevention solutions must be practiced. PROPERLY PRUNE YOUNG TREES TO TRAIN THEM TO SYSTEMS SUITABLE FOR THE SPECIES.  Even though strong branches are needed to support the weight of a heavy crop, severe pruning may stimulate excessive upright growth, which delays flower production and reduces yields.

Upon Item Number Five, I am going to leave the proper applications to fruit-producing Christian ministry and Christian living mostly to your own prayerful deductions.  I am simply going to close with this little verse I wrote partially while going to gather some figs one day in my own yard:

Searching out the little bent tree I last pruned

Humming about the last feeding and mulching of that little one

I bent and skipped sideways round the other limbs so tuned

In many past seasons to reach their present fruited joy in the sun.

Never did that little bent tree bear a single tiny fig in past

Never did those little reaching branches show forth any joy in fruit.

Behold, now my eye catches a rounding purpling glow with glee my heart to cast

               Behold, my fingers pluck another and another juicy globe for pocket’s loot!

About granbee

writer,grandmother,gardener, dog trainer, dreampainter, hiker, sometimes pianist
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE WORD and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: Branches of The Vine | pickandprintgallery

  2. Great post! It reminded me of two very different but highly related aspects of my career(s).

    I spent many years teaching graduate students. The emphasis was on planting the seeds of knowledge and it was rare when I got to see what fruit, if any, these seeds would bear.

    At the same time I conducted managerial training in a variety of industries. The “students” here generally wanted tools they could use the next day. It was easy to see the harvest in many cases.

    We face the same challenges in fulfilling the Great Commission. Sometimes we see immediate results. Often the fruits of our efforts, if they are to be seen at all, take a long time…. and require basically the same nurturing steps you outlined above.

    Shalom, Art

  3. granbee says:

    Dear Brother Rick, bless you for your limitless Christian enthusiasm as we work in HIS vineyards!

  4. rickroehm says:

    Jesus said a good tree bringeth forth good fruit and a corrupt tree bringeth forth corrupt fruit. The fruit of God is produced, “when” man truely believes in Christ. Good fruit remains…bad fruit withers. After good fruit is produced…God is a fruit inspector every minute, every hour, every day! Good fruit produces the character of God in you!

    • granbee says:

      Thank you for your helpful and expanding comments here today. I appreciate your ongoing support as we all labor in HIS vineyards. While we know that God is ALWAYS the fruit inspector, we also know He is a most wise and patient vineyard owner. Just look at his ongoing dealings with His people for thousands of years. Just look at Him giving His only begotten Son that we might have eternal life, and have it abundantly. My prayer today in responding to you is that you would walk out into the vineyards of this world along with us, dependent upon the Holy Spirit to guide all of us in discernment and love. Hallelujah!

      • rickroehm says:

        Answered prayer. Called by the Gospel…sent to preach Christ…tending to the faith…keeping the Devil on the run…fighting the good fight…condemning sin…bringing honor to Christ…walking in love…fellowshipping in the Spirit…being fruitful in every good work in the vineyards, on the Internet, in the Church house, in the open air, at work, in the marriage, in my personal heart and life, and with dear Sister Granbee from Christian Blessings.

  5. ptl2010 says:

    I can only imagine – last time I was on a farm was in New Zealand. Granbee I can see those fruit pickers picking the golden kiwi fruits. O yes we will also have a harvest of souls if we stay the course and help the Holy Spirit who waters the gospel seeds we sow. Thank you for sharing granbee. I really enjoyed reading your blog.

    • granbee says:

      ptl2010, Bless you for your ongoing encouragement. Yes, we WILL harvest souls with being proper vine dressers for the Lord! The Holy Spirit indeed is the irrigator! Praise God. So pleased you are enjoying my little ol’ country woman posts!

  6. writinggomer says:

    Very fruitful advice! Thank you for sharing your insights with us.

    • granbee says:

      Bless you all the day long, writinggomer, for your supportive comments! The insights I share are the results of a wonderful childhood in a supportive Christian home on that farm and the teachings from those days rising more and more to the surface and burying deeper and deeper roots in the vineyard of my life ever since! Thanks Be to God!

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