I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit… This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
A careful owner of an orchard watches for all the signs of budding fruit. He has spent months tilling, furrowing, fertilizing, pruning, watering, and testing everything from the acidity of the soil to the humidity of the air. And now, he is expecting his vines to bear big, luscious, prize-winning grapes.
Don’t think the Almighty is any less meticulous. He wrote the book on growing fruit! And He wants you to bear much fruit. He notices every time you sow seeds in the lives of others. He keeps tabs every time you water that seed with your prayers. If something good stirs in a soul, even in the souls of onlookers, God chalks it up to your account. He records it on your balance sheet when He observes faith flowering and fruit ripening in the life of someone in whom you have invested your Christian witness.
If they profit, you gain. If they are rewarded, you reap. If they are lifted up, you are raised up with them. You share in the blue ribbon for the fruit borne in their lives. This is why the apostle Paul spoke of those in whom he invested his life as “his joy and crown” (Philippians 4:1). Other people are our crown.
Be vigilant about people in your sphere of influence. You are sowing seeds; your prayers are having an impact. So “let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” (Galatians 6:9-10; italics mine).
Lord of the vineyard, I want to bear much fruit to the Father’s glory. Help me to invest my life in others whom I encounter today. They are my crown!