Bear Much Fruit

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“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” —John 15:16, NIV

I recently accepted a human resources position with an agricultural company. One of my responsibilities is to hire staff to harvest and process the various commodity seasons. The seasons include cherries, avocados, grapes, tomatoes, walnuts, onions, peaches, almonds, and oranges. It was cherry season, and one supervisor told me that the yield was going to be much less than the previous year. The weather had been very harsh, with several freezes and many severe rainstorms, all unusual for the area. Hiring enough people was quite a challenge. We posted the job on social media and also on many different job boards.

We invited everyone to apply! Some applicants did not show up for the interview, and some wanted more money. Others could not work the irregular hours and weekends. Others were hired but quit for one reason or another shortly after starting.

Observing this large-scale farming reminded me of Jesus’ words, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:1, 2, NIV). To grow, the branches must be pruned. What in my life requires pruning? Could it be my finances, my friends, my family, my diet, my hobbies, or even my job? “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:6, NIV). Each day I must make a choice.

Do I cooperate with the Father’s plans to prune in order to produce fruit in my life? Will I focus on growing perishable fruit—cherries, avocados, and peaches? Or will I allow the Father to cultivate the fruit that will last—joy, love, kindness, peace, self-control, patience, faithfulness, gentleness? The fruit of the Spirit. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16, NIV).

Whether I choose to be or not, I am most certainly in the fruit business.

Not because I am employed by an agricultural company but because I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My main responsibility is to remain in Him and allow Him to prune me as needed. Then I will emulate Jesus, bear much fruit, and reap a harvest of eternal benefits.

Sylvia A. Franklin

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