A number of years ago, my family and I planted nine hundred and
fifty apple trees on our farm in middle Tennessee. Those spindly
little saplings eventually produced thousands of bushels of apples
per year. Over the years, we learned what to do, and what not to do
to produce good fruit. In the same manner that I had to work the
soil, plant the trees, fertilize, prune, spray and perform the
multitude of tasks necessary to produce good apples; God has to
complete similar tasks in us. He is the husbandman, the grower of
the fruit. Over the years, I have learned many principles about
growth and fruit production. The purpose of this book is to apply
those principles of apple production to the process God uses to
produce quality fruit in us. What is there about a beautiful red or
golden ripe apple hanging on a tree that begs you to reach out and
pick it? There is no question that you are seeing the reason for
the existence of the apple tree. Apple trees make poor shade trees
and are too gnarled and crooked for timber. The only purpose for an
apple tree is to produce apples. What is the purpose of a
Christian? Why are we on this earth? The answer is found in the
Gospel of John, chapter 15, vs. 16 which says, "You did not choose
Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear
fruit, and that your fruit should remain." The purpose of a
Christian like that of the apple tree is to bear fruit for God.
Verse 8 of that same chapter of John says, "By this is My Father
glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My
disciples." God wants us to bear fruit, and He is glorified when we
do. What a waste it is for a tree to spend years growing to
maturity, drinking up the water and nutrients from the soil and
taking up valuable space, and then produce no fruit. How much more
of a waste it is for a man or woman to be born into the Kingdom of
God, grow to maturity, be fed spiritual food, take their place in
the church, and yet miss the very purpose for whi
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