What happens when a Christian doesn’t fulfill God’s purpose for his life? The same thing that happened to an ill-fated zucchini plant in my backyard.

One year, we had a zucchini plant which had an unusually strong growth spurt. It grew very large, but it didn’t produce any zucchinis. So my mother-in-law (we call her Granny) took out a chainsaw and obliterated the plant, keeping part of it for her own garden in hopes of growing something.

Somehow – and I haven’t quite figured it out yet, although I suspect Granny has either a knack for gardening, or a way of motivating her plants to grow through fear – the plant produced a zucchini. (Just kidding about the chainsaw!)

God wants every Christian to bear fruit. He is not concerned with the rate of our growth so much as the quality. If we spring up like weeds, but aren’t producing anything for Christ, we are of little value to Him. When we are unproductive as fruit-bearers, we may be cut down. God may have to level us through a climactic event which humbles us and jars us awake from our spiritual slumber, or He may go so far as to cut off our potential by bringing us home to Heaven early.

The moral of this story is that it pays to produce. While we cannot produce fruit on our own, we can do our part to bear fruit by abiding in Christ and allowing His Word to saturate and cleanse our hearts. Do this by having a regular time of devotion and meditation on God’s Word – not just in church, but on your own time. With time, you will bear fruit (Psalm 1:3). If you learn this lesson from the unproductive zucchini plant, you will thrive as you abide in the Vine.

In order to grow, you must stand / Look beyond the hurt, to God’s loving hand / That takes what is good / And gives what is best / And on this blessed thought: rest. – Unknown Author

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.