Leaves but No Fruit

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The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” Luke 13:6-9 (ESV)

The above is an experience of a disappointed vineyard owner. He was so disappointed to the extent that he wanted the tree cut down. This parable was told by Jesus to buttress the need for the righteous (chosen ones) to continually have a repentant heart and not to see themselves better than others BUT RATHER TO SEE THEMSELVES AS PEOPLE ENJOYING THE GRACE OF GOD.  ”Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:4-5). I think it is high time we Christians did a reality check on our walk with God. Time to examine our individual life as prescribed by the Bible.  My writing is not about judging others, but rather to point everyone into the right way and right living in the Kingdom of Heaven.

There are many places in the Bible where God likens His Children to a tree, yes a TREE.  Any time an object is used figuratively to represent the righteous, it is because there are good features for us learn about the object. Little wonder the believers are not liken to a pig and dog because of their behavioural patterns. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces(Matt 7:6). Although I’m not saying both animals aren’t good by nature, but to buttress what they mean spiritually.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isa 61:3 (KJV)

Like other investment, when a fruit bearing tree is planted, it is expected to bear fruits. Nothing more, nothing less !!. Good as the leaves might also be of importance for other needs, the utmost dividends the owner expects is its fruits.The leaves might be good to have on a tree, but a farmer goes home disappointed with an empty basket if he found no fruits. It is high time we took a stock of our lives on what we are producing. Otherwise God will be disappointed in us. It is time to check if we are still in the faith or out of it.  The question is, If God should pay you a visit will He find fruit at all?  Will He be happy with your way of life or  be disappointed? Likewise, If Jesus should come back today, will He find you rapturable?

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Rev 3:1 (NIV)

There are works that are dead works. Meaning, activities that are reputable but are not practised in a godly manner and precepts. You can be a Pastor and still not have fruit. You can be a Bible Teacher or a member of a Choir and still not bear fruits. Though those activities are good and important, it is not about what we do for people to see that matter, but the genuineness of our hearts and the motives behind them. If our Church activities is primarily to please men or show off, it is what the Bible called dead works. If the only time you pray is when you are in the gathering of believers without you having your own personal prayer time with God, sorry, it’s also dead works “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full ( Matt 6:5 NIV)

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matt 7:21-23)

God pleasers are fruit bearing Christians  I believe if we remain to be mindful and conscious of what God is expected of us, it will help us to always want to please Him.  A tree bearing fruit is a type of a believer that maintained a repentant heart: ready to forgive others, ready to ask for forgiveness. Repentance is not only at the point of salvation, but a lifetime attitude. If this is your attitude, you are a tree bearing fruit.


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  1. April Boyer says

    Excellent lesson Richard. Thanks for reminding us about what is important and needed.

  2. Richard Okunade says

    Thanks April for reading through and commenting. May God help us all.

  3. Kathleen says

    I definitely want my tree to bear fruit, and not just leaves! Thank you, Richard, for the encouragement to do more for God! I LOVED this: “A tree bearing fruit is a type of a believer that maintained a repentant heart: ready to forgive others, ready to ask for forgiveness. Repentance is not only at the point of salvation, but a lifetime attitude. If this is your attitude, you are a tree bearing fruit. “

  4. Richard Okunade says

    Thanks Kathleen. I appreciate you.

  5. Thasia says

    Hi Richard!
    That was a powerful and very timely message. Although it’s biblical, I don’t hear that parable taught very often. We need the whole truth taught to us, not just the messages that make us feel good but also the ones but also the ones that bring us loving warning!
    I wrote a book two years ago called “Lord Make Me Good Ground” and I used the parable of the sower to help explain how the condition of our hearts will determine if we are able to produce God’s fruit! This is probably why I took such a liking to your post!
    Thank you,
    Thasia Awad from

    1. Richard says

      Thanks so much Thasia for visiting my post and your gracious comment. I will try and visit yours too. Do have a great weekend. God bless

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