I began the annual vegetable garden about three months ago. When the ground was ready, I laid off the rows and planted the seeds and young plants. In those early days there wasn’t anything to show for my efforts. Not a single tomato to pluck; no peppers or squash to enjoy; my garden was fruitless. And yet I persisted in my efforts.
Now the time has come to enjoy the fruits of my garden. Homegrown vegetables have been a part of our meals recently. The corn and lima beans will soon be arriving, as will the okra. This is why I garden. The produce of the soil makes the long hours of toil worthwhile.
Jesus has also invested effort and interest in a garden — his disciples. He said, “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, that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you” (John 15:16, NKJV). The gardener from Heaven makes daily visits to his plots, looking for produce that glorifies God and seasons lives. He wants us to be fruitful!
But getting to that fruit can be tedious. Weeds from the past must be pulled; hardened soil must be broken up and conditioned with the proper nutrients. It takes time for Christian fruits to develop in my life, and I sometimes wonder if it’s ever going to happen. Sometimes I think, “What’s the use?”
What we must never forget is that we aren’t in this enterprise alone. God not only calls us to be fruitful but gives us the ability to reach that goal. Paul stated it beautifully: “Now may he who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10).
I can’t grow corn or tomatoes without God’s help. The tiny seeds I bury in the dirt would lie there and rot were it not for God’s power. It takes faith to plant seeds, but that faith comes more easily the longer we do it. The same is true in the spiritual realm. If we have faith enough to plant the seed (i.e. God’s word, Luke 8:11), God’s power will enable us to bring forth the qualities he desires. It doesn’t all depend on me. I must do my part, but God will surely do his.
Let me focus on sowing the seed in my heart. Let me be a doer as well as a hearer of the word (James 1:22). And let me trust the power of God to bring forth fruit in my life in due time. He is able if I am willing!
With God’s Help, We Will Bear Fruit