"Be fruitful"

As a teenager, I worked in my family's market gardens. We saw some bumper crops of fruit, flowers, and vegetables. Although whatever we did called for a steady toil at times, I comforted myself with the thought that we were helping to feed the townsfolk; it was good to be serving our neighbors in this way.

Important as this effort was, I realized in later years that it was possible to serve even more fully by bringing forth fruits of a different kind. Speaking of this work, Christ Jesus said: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Jesus goes on to show what enables us to fulfill God's spiritual purpose for us: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:1, 2, 5).

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