At this time of the year, with so many people preparing their yards and gardens for planting, you’ve probably noticed budding trees and flowers that signal the planting season. At local garden centers and hardware stores, you can see gardeners and flower enthusiasts browsing the selection of plants and seeds.
Gardeners have a love for the land, the soil in which they plant their precious seeds. They know that to get beautiful, healthy, fruit-bearing plants, they need to work the soil and keep it healthy. Christians who want to bear fruit need that same kind of passion.
God made the world for His glory, and God’s glory certainly shines in Spring with the beautiful blooming landscapes, but Spring doesn’t have to be the only visual cue that speaks to God’s glory. Christians have been spiritually made new by their faith in Jesus, and they can glorify God and be fruit-bearing year-round. Much like nature reminds us of seasons, we can use things like faith-based clothing to show our connection to Him or spread the good news of His love. Like good gardeners, we need to cultivate our seeds of faith so we can produce fruit to glorify God.
Developing Strong Roots of Faith
Novices to gardening learn pretty quickly the one thing that avid gardeners have learned long ago—you have a right way and a wrong way to plant. Every plant or seed packet includes instructions about the plant, telling you when to plant, how much sun and water the plant requires, and what you can expect to see when the plant bears fruit.
As people study the details of growing strong, prosperous plants, they often look for more resources to learn even more about the plant and how to best cultivate it. Although every plant or seed has different needs, they all require fertile, loose soil to grow deep, strong roots.
Gardeners understand the importance of soil, and they spend a lot of time, even in the off-season, working the soil. They may cover the soil in compost or garden debris. Some gardeners cover their soil in leaves. Others allow their chickens to forage in the garden bed, fertilizing and tilling the soil for the next season.
You don’t see the soil working, but the health of plants tells you how healthy the soil is that they’re planted in. The same applies to Christians. Christians need to cultivate their hearts consistently to prepare their hearts to hear the wisdom of God.
Christians can do numerous things to prepare their hearts to receive God’s Word. But, like experienced gardeners – they don’t work their soil just one time a year or once a week. They consistently work the soil to keep it healthy – so Christians need to do likewise.
Christians need to tend their hearts as consistently as gardeners tend the soil. Just one service a week doesn’t sufficiently cultivate the hearts of Christians. Like experienced gardeners, Christians need to work to develop deep roots so they can flourish and bear fruit to glorify God.
The Bible encourages Christians to cultivate a deep, strong faith to grow their relationship with God:
- John 15:4–5: The Bible says that Christ is the vine and Christians are the branches. These verses confirm that Christians must be rooted in Christ or else they can’t bear fruit. Christians can do nothing apart from Christ and should develop strong roots in Him.
- Luke 6:48: This verse describes how a wise man built such a strong foundation that a flood couldn’t penetrate the home or move it. Wise Christians build a solid foundation on God. Rooted deeply in His love, Christians cannot be moved by the floods of life because their foundation rests on God.
- Colossians 2:7: God’s Word tells Christians that allowing their roots to grow deep into God and building their lives on Him results in strong faith and thankfulness for all God has done.
- Ephesians 3:17: When Christians trust Christ as their Savior, they become new spiritual people who have the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. The Bible promises that the Spirit’s presence helps your roots grow in God’s love to keep you strong.
Jesus explains the importance of planting in good soil in His parable told in Matthew 13. Jesus discusses how a farmer sowed seeds that fell onto different types of soils. The seeds sown in shallow soil sprouted quickly but withered under the sun because of their lack of roots, but the seeds that fell onto fertile soil produced 100 times as much as the farmer had planted. The fertile soil made a huge difference.
Christians can create their own fertile soil to plant seeds of faith that can strengthen their trust in God. The main tool Christians can utilize is God’s Word, and the Bible confirms this idea in the following verses:
- Psalm 1:1–3: Rooting deeply in the wisdom of God’s Word can produce a flourishing plant like a tree that is constantly nourished because it’s planted by a stream of water.
- Psalm 119:105: God’s Word works like a light that illuminates a path. Studying God’s Word allows Christians to dig deep and take root in God’s wisdom.
- I Peter 2:2: The Bible states that Christians should be crying out for God’s wisdom just like babies do for milk. Such wisdom provides nourishment to fully grow in the Lord.
- 2 Timothy 2:15: This passage clearly encourages Christians to study God’s Word so that they can stand before God with the confidence that they’ve studied God’s Word so they can learn it and use it.
- Hebrews 4:12: God’s Word offers the sharpest tool a Christian can use to expose their hearts. Just like a gardener might take weeds and rocks out of the garden bed, Christians can use God’s Word to examine their hearts and remove the things in their lives that hurt their relationship with God. Doing so provides more fertile ground in which God’s wisdom can take root.
Studying God’s Word consistently provides the best way for Christians to produce a flourishing spiritual life. Cultivating their hearts with God’s Word means producing fruit that can glorify God. When Christians tend their spiritual gardens with consistency, people will notice the difference in their lives. If you make a habit of incorporating God’s Word into as many aspects of your life as possible (even doing things such as wearing your faith-based clothing,) not only do you bear fruit that glorifies God but also you show the source of that fruit to others who may want the same in their lives, bearing witness to the difference God can make in a person’s life.
The Importance of Bearing Fruit
Because God made the world to glorify Him, Christians need to bear fruit to introduce others to God and how amazing He is. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and rose again, conquering sin and death. Faith in this miraculous and loving action provides a way to Heaven, and God wants the free gift of faith shared with everyone. His Word proclaims this in the following verses:
- Mark 16:15 tells Christians to go into the world and tell everyone about Jesus to share this wonderful gift with the world.
- 1 Peter 3: 15–16 encourages Christians to always have an answer for people who want to know why they have such hope and joy.
- Mark 13:10 reports the Gospel needs to be preached and shared.
- 2 Timothy 1:7–8 confirms that God has given Christians the gift of the holy spirit. This gift gives Christians power and does not make them timid so that they can share God’s message with the world.
- 1 Corinthians 9:16 emphasizes how the Gospel must be preached. Preaching doesn’t refer to getting across a personal message; instead, it refers to making God and His love famous.
- Romans 1:16 powerfully emphasizes how Christians need not be ashamed. The Gospel has power, not just a powerful message. The power of the Gospel offers salvation to anyone who wants to receive it.
Being changed by faith in God means Christians have an opportunity to share their faith with others. Bearing fruit glorifies God and makes the best way to share your faith. Galatians 5:22 lists the different types of fruit Christians may produce after rooting themselves in God’s wisdom.
Bearing fruit, such as love, joy, and peace, stands out in today’s world. You may even have people ask you why you act differently or why you are so peaceful, and as God’s Word encourages, you should be ready with an answer.
However, you may not always have people verbally talk to you about your faith. A great way to share the connection of your fruit to your faith in God is by wearing faith-based clothing. People notice us far more than we think. This clothing offers a unique approach to connect to your faith in God and share that message with others, and while some may watch you from a distance, for others, it could be a way to strike up a conversation, giving you an opportunity to grow your faith more as you share the Gospel with others—and help them do the same.