Luke 6:44: "Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers." (NIV)
Recognized (1097 Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Greek): ginosko (ghin-oce-ko); to know; recognize
Fruit (2590): Fruit
What fruit am I bearing? Am I bearing the fruit of the Spirit or my own bitter fruit? In this verse, Jesus is speaking to His disciples. He continues saying, in verse 45, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." My fruit takes root in my heart and then ripens and bursts forth through what I say and do.
What fruit do I want to bear? To begin with, there is the Fruit of the Spirit - "...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..."(Galatians 5: 22 - 23). There's more! Second Peter 1:5-8 lists a few more fruits to add to faith: knowledge, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness. Peter adds "For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive (unfruitful in KJV) in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
What happens if I'm not bearing fruit? Peter addresses this as well in verse 9: "But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins." I don't know about you, but I don't ever want to forget that I've been cleansed from my sins.
So, how do I know my fruit is good? By knowing Christ and living my life like He did. Follow His example of loving God and others, expressing joy, exhibiting peace, showing patience, being good, faithful, and gentle, and exhibiting self-control. These may not appear overnight, but through perseverance and most importantly, prayer, this good fruit will take root.
What fruit are you bearing?