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I’m not a gardener, but I’ve watched my wife grow beautiful plants and flowers. Her secret seems to be in having good soil, plenty of sunshine, water, and tender-loving care. I reflected on her success as I thought about the biblical principles for having a fruitful life. Many years ago, God sent a message to ancient Israel through the prophet Haggai. God told them their harvests were skimpy because they had neglected their spiritual needs and were focusing on their personal needs. They repented and put God at the center of their lives. So God sent them another message found in Haggai Chapter 2. God said, now that your priorities straight, “From this day onward I will bless you.” Years later, Jesus told His disciples in the Upper Room that by producing much fruit, they would prove to be His true disciples and bring great glory to His Father. He then gave them the secret for bearing much fruit. He said it comes when you love me, trust me, and obey me—when you stay in a close relation with me, the True Vine. He said we cannot bear fruit that lasts unless we remain connected to Him.

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