John 15:8 – This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (NIV)
In my yard, there are three bushes: one is a snowball bush, and two are azaleas.
The snowball bush has been there for three years and has beautiful green leaves. It looks so pretty and healthy, but it never puts forth a bud. For three years, I have cared for it with all it needs to grow and bloom, but it never buds.
I started the two azaleas from twigs in plastic cups of dirt. For four years, I kept them in pots and put them in the ground. Then, five years ago, I moved to my new house, so I dug them up and moved them too. One azalea blooms every year and is normal. The other one loads itself down with large buds, but it has never bloomed. The blooms just never open.
If we watch nature, sometimes God will show us rare nuggets of His kingdom. Many Christians are like the snowball bush: they seem to be strong in the Lord, but they never bud; they never get to that certain place where they can really bloom for the Lord. Every storm is always a disaster. Many Christians are like the azalea. They look like their blooms will open soon, but they never produce fully open blooms or the fruit of the Spirit.
May we continue to grow in our faith and be like the normal azalea, blooming and being fruitful. Just as the seeds of the azalea are intended to reproduce more azaleas, so for Christians, being fruitful means to lead others to Christ and multiply the kingdom of God. God has no grandchildren.
Prayer: God, we pray that You will continue to bless us and help us bear much fruit. May we be used to bring others to Christ and increase Your kingdom. Amen.