Having grown up on a farm in the heart of Indiana, I know the importance of a fruitful yield from seeds planted. It relates directly to the farmer’s future livelihood. Whether it is an expansive field of corn, wheat, oats, or a backyard garden of green beans and tomatoes, or an orchard of fruit trees, a generous harvest is paramount. Great joy and satisfaction fill a farmer’s heart when he sees a wonderfully fruitful yield from his efforts.
Did you know that God, also, is more than just a little bit concerned with the fruit from seed He plants? He wants a harvest of its fullest measure. But, instead of short-lived, edible results, the yield He desires to see produces eternal results. Galatians 5: 22-23 states that the fruit God is after is combined into one large piece with sections of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, self-control, meekness, and faith inside. When these characteristics show in our lives and interactions with others, God knows that His seed is growing in our heart. Jesus speaks about God being the “husbandman” and how he is like a farmer who desires the best from the harvest. John 15: 1-2 explains just how important yield is to God.
In John 15:8, Jesus tells us how to please or glorify God–bear much fruit. When the fruit of Jesus’ indwelling Spirit spills out of us, it gives others a visual of God Himself. We best not be satisfied with a “life insurance-type” of relationship with our God. He wants and deserves so very much more.
Mark 4:14-20 tells of the sower who sowed seed on four different types of ground. There was hard ground, stoney ground, overgrown thorny ground, and finally, good ground. If you read carefully you will see that only one type of soil received the seed well and then produced fruit of various amounts–the good ground. Even though there was some degree of growth in two of the other grounds mentioned, the fruit (which is the part that God is concerned with) was only evident from the seed planted in good ground. Grab hold of this sobering fact–only 25% of those hearing God’s invitation to join His kingdom bore fruit to His glory. Seventy-five percent did not have any yield come to fruition–none–even though they had heard and initially acted upon the truth of God presented to them.
God says fruit matters. When someone is truly connected to God, the fruits of righteousness will be evident. God knows our hearts and how deeply they are connected to Him. Head knowledge will not produce genuine, quality God-fruit. Seek to deepen your relationship and walk with the Holy Spirit and see more and more of the fruits of righteousness. In the end, it really does matter. Nothing less will do.
How does your relationship with our Heavenly Father reveal the fruits of righteousness that grow and give yield only because His life flows through you?