The Root and the Fruit (Rev. 22:16)

Did you ever wonder how they produce seedless grapes or make large fruit bearing trees into small ones, but yet still have them produce a large amount of fruit? In order to accomplish this, two practices are used: cross pollination and grafting.

On Father’s Day, I received a dwarf fig tree as a gift. It had the root of the fig tree, but the trunk was cut and spliced together with another tree that would grow much smaller. The end result was a short tree that produced a bunch of figs.

Spiritually speaking, God does the same. However in this case, he is the root and the fruit bearing tree.

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David… Revelation 22:16

Think about the statement, I am the root and offspring of David. Jesus is the root from which David is an offspring. Additionally Jesus is a descendent of David or a fruit that comes from David’s lineage.

Spiritually speaking, the same occurs for us. He is our root or the root of the vine (John 15) and he also is that which produces fruit in our lives. We do not produce fruit: he produces fruit in or through us. He is the root of our being and the fruit of our lives.

Everything good in our lives is really fruit produced from him. Our part is to abide in him because without him, we can do nothing. Many years I spent toiling trying to produce fruit only to recognize that I cannot. I finally came to realize that he can and will produce fruit. If I allow him, he–the root of my being–will produce the fruit of his being in me.

Does God Hear You?

Does God hear you when you pray? Some believe that he does. Others struggle and at best hope God may pay attention to them. Their struggle can be narrowed down to two basic premises: is my relationship right so that God will hear me and are my petitions important enough to gain his attention? 

Why should God hear you? Your only standing with God is because of the work of his son. He gave himself for you and washed your entire sin debt free with his blood. He positions you in himself so that every right that he inherited is also at your disposal. Positionally, you have been put into a place of acceptance. For this reason, he hears you when you pray. The only potential to toward him from hearing you is if you regard iniquity in your heart. 

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: Psalms 66:18

This does not mean that he stops listening to you each time you sin, but that when your heart is fixed on sin and you are unwilling to allow the Lord to free you from it, it is then that he stops hearing you.

Are your problems important enough for you to pray and for God to hear you? Remember when people brought children to Jesus and when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus instructed them to allow the children to come to him and he used that event to guide our understanding about the kingdom of God. Stop for a moment and think. What problems would a child have? What would they ask of God? I understand that social conditions are very different today than they were in Jesus’s time. But the principle is still true. If we could truly discover what needs a child has in their heart, I am certain that it would involve details in the circle of their world.

Most petitions would involve the desire for tangible items such as a puppy, a toy, being able to play well at a sport or any such thing that we may belittle in importance. None-the-less, the Lord said that we should allow them to come to him. What you need to gain from this passage is to see yourself just as these children or at least similar to them.

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16

I remember my last year as the principal of a christian school. The budget year was going to end $10,000 in the red. I earnestly prayed into the summer months and saw $7,000 of that come in as a direct result of praying. At that time, it was the greatest trial I had faced as a believer, but how did God see it? I believe that he saw it as child’s play. The greatest of my trials was nothing to him and equal in difficulty as those for the child.

You may feel that your problems aren’t important enough to take to God or they don’t seem to measure up. Are they as important as a child’s needs? If they are, you and children are welcome to seek his face and bear your burden to him.

Remember, positionally you are acceptable to him. He will hear your prayers just as long as you don’t focus your longing on sin and resist his work.

The importance of your needs is not determined by you, but God and he will focus his attention to all people–even to the lowest need of a child.

Pray! God is listening.