“…he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5b
We live in a culture that likes to stay busy. Being busy, however, doesn’t always mean being productive. We can busy ourselves doing good things, yet accomplish little of eternal value. Jesus said that His followers should produce spiritual fruit. So, are you a productive Christian? We saw in a previous devotion that bearing fruit is the result of abiding in Christ and we discussed how to abide. Now, let’s take a closer look at what the Bible says about our fruitfulness.
First, spiritual fruit cannot be manufactured (John 15:4-5). We are not simply members of a religious organization, we are living branches. Fruit grows naturally by cultivating our living union with Jesus, the true vine (v1). When He is the object of our faith, He gives us the ability to produce the objective of our faith.
Next, spiritual fruit is recognizable. It’s visible when we bring others to Christ (Romans 1:13) and give of what we have (Romans 15:26-28). Good works are fruit when our motivation is “to please Him in all respects” (Colossians 1:10). Notice that our fruit benefits and serves others. After all, a branch doesn’t grow fruit for its own consumption. Although our good deeds meet temporal needs, they only have eternal value when done through Christ.
Producing fruit, however, goes beyond the things we do. Our fruit reveals our nature (Luke 6:44). Jesus said that we “prove to be [His] disciples” by “bear[ing] much fruit” (John 15:8b). So, our actions simply spill over from who we are in Christ. Even though we receive His nature at salvation, developing godly character is a choice. We bear the fruits of His nature as we continually yield to His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Lastly, spiritual fruit glorifies God. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit,” (John 15:8a). This is huge because it speaks to our purpose as God’s children. Being a productive Christian is never about proving our own worth. Good deeds are just busy work if done for our own glory. Godly fruit is produced in a godly nature and will achieve a godly purpose.
So, are you a productive Christian? You can start right now by offering God the fruit of your lips (Hebrews 13:15). Take a moment to praise God for who He is and to thank Him for what He’s done in your life.