John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)
I once grew an apple tree from seed in my apartment in Glasgow. The bay windows in the living room faced south, so this tree flourished. I was very proud of it and even took it to the Maybole manse when we first moved there. It was my intention to set it out in front of the manse where it could flourish and blossom and perhaps bear fruit. So I dug a hole in the front lawn and planted it where I could proudly watch it grow.
Unfortunately, I forgot to tell the church gardener. He mowed the lawn when I was away and ripped right through the young tree. It had taken three years to grow and, alas, was wiped out within a couple of seconds. It never had the opportunity to bear fruit, which I intended to do by grafting on another apple tree.
As Christians, we are expected to bear fruit. Jesus tells us that so long as He remains within us — in our hearts, minds, and souls — we will bear fruit. Apart from Him, we are told, we can do nothing. Bearing fruit means doing God's work in the world, helping others in need, and bringing people to Christ. The fruits of our spiritual endeavours belong to Jesus. He gets all the glory or, as President John Quincy Adams once said, "Duty is ours; the results are God's."
Wherever we go and whomsoever we meet, let this be a fruit-bearing day to the glory of God and for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, without You we can do nothing. You empower us to bear fruit for Your kingdom. Help us to take every opportunity to do Your work, to complete Your purposes, and to serve Your ministry in all that we say or do today. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.