We live in a world full of plants and trees that we didn't plant. This question was posed to me this morning: How do the trees know how to grow?
My answer was that God taught the first trees to take sunshine and water and make food and grow. The trees remembered and still do just that. Like a top that you set spinning, the world just keeps spinning according to God's original plan.
17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Mt. 7 NLT
In God's original plan, Apple trees produce Apples, and Olive trees produce olives. When trees produce good fruit, according to God's plan, they are useful, loved, and protected. A good child of God produces the fruits of God, and these can be seen and appreciated; kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, healing, loving. Good children are loved and protected by God. Just and an apple tree can't help but produce apples, God's children, by thier God-given nature reflect God'd good image in all they do.
If a child of God turns from good and seeks evil, then they begin to bear sour fruit. Greed, violence, selfishness, and abuse are fruits of the fallen child. If an apple tree began to sprout thorns and bear thistles, it would be cut down. When orchard trees no longer bear good fruit, they are re-cycled as heat and mulch. Thank God a bad kid is not burned, but re-purposed with love.
Much of the seventh chapter of Matthew warns us against judgement of others. It is our place not to throw out bad fruit, so much as it is to foster good fruit. Be aware of your fruit, and make sure it is good. Help your children and grandchildren know about Christ so that they too may bear good fruit. Pray for those whom you know are bearing bad fruit, and do not follow them into the furnace!