I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. (John 15:5)

PEOPLE FLOCK TO SEE the brilliant colors of changing leaves that signal the beginning of fall. It is a sign that the harvest time has ended or will be ending soon. Foliage is nice to see, but fruit is of greater value. If there is a choice between fruit or foliage, fruit must be preferred. If there is no harvest, there is no reason for planting and there will be no seed for future plantings.

Jesus made a big investment in us that is intended to produce results—fruit. Leaves can be beautiful, but it is fruit that is desired. God’s great expectation is that the life of Christ in us will result in fruit with reproductive potential.

When Jesus said we would bear much fruit, His expectation was that we would reproduce His character qualities in our lives and that we would reproduce our faith in the lives of others. The presence of Christ in us is to grow fruit of the Spirit, and our presence in the world is to plant seeds that will grow new believers.

Growing fruit, not just leaves, requires us to remain vitally connected to Jesus. Our connection to Him must be more than casual relationship. It is His life in us that produces fruit. The best we can do is grow leaves.

Start the day with a prayer that the fruit of the life of Christ in you might be visible and ripe for picking.

Ken Heer is the author of Ancient Fire (WPH) and has been a pastor and church leader for fifty-two years.