“You give glory to my Father when you produce a lot of fruit and therefore show that you are my disciples” (John 15:8 God’s Word).

Part of the joy of gardening comes from planting more than we can use and sharing. Our carrots, beets, zucchini, squash, as well as yellow and cherry tomatoes got shared this year. Winter onions and garlic added to the list. Then there were the flowers which we shared.

Our garden in June, 2012

Jesus said we show the world we belong to the Saviour when we produce “a lot of fruit”. Now Jesus wasn’t referring to vegetables here, though generosity may lead to a closed mind opening, a cold heart warming or a broken spirit healing.

It makes me wonder what kind of fruit you produce.

I know some people who share from a rich harvest of sour grapes. Others squash those around them with expertise. Others are never short of a beef. I’ve seen some share raspberries, in front and behind their neighbours.

There are those, of course, who care little about harvest. They spend their time sowing seeds of discontent. I have to mention the dealers in lemons.

Well, you should know what goes on in your garden.

We have a little garden ornament that says, “Every garden grows better with love”.

That’s a fruit worth cultivating. If we follow the example of God then we live out that “the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against things like that” (Galatians 5:22-23 God’s Word). Some scholars argue (with some solid reasoning) that the singular form here (“spiritual nature”, or just “spirit”, means that the fruit is love, and all the rest of the list shows that love is being planted, watered and harvested.

"ὁ θεòς ἀγάπη ἐστίν" ó theòs agape e...

“ὁ θεòς ἀγάπη ἐστίν” ó theòs agape estín (Greek; trans. “God is love”) on a stele in Mount Nebo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I pray you will love producing love fruit, since “Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love. God has shown us his love by sending his only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins. Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love each other. No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. We know that we live in him and he lives in us because he has given us his Spirit. We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:7-16 God’s Word).