"Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit" (John 15:8)
How can we glorify God? Not by adding to His glory or bringing Him any new glory that He has not. But simply by allowing His glory to shine out through us. By simply yielding ourselves to Him, so that His glory may manifest itself in us and through us to the world. In a vineyard or a vine bearing much fruit, the owner is glorified, as it tells of his skill and care. In the disciple who bears much fruit, the Father is glorified. Before men and angels, proof is given of the glory of God's grace and power. God's glory shines out through him.
This is what Peter means when he writes: "If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 4:11). As a man works and serves in a power which comes from God alone, God gets all the glory. When we confess that the ability came from God alone, he who does the work, and they who see it, equally glorify God. It was God who did it. Men judge by the fruit of a garden the worth of the gardener. Men judge God by the fruit that the branches of the Vine of His planting bear. Little fruit brings little glory to God. It brings no honor to either the Vine or the Husbandman. "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit."
We have sometimes mourned our lack of fruit - a loss to ourselves and our fellow men - and blame it on our feebleness. Let us rather think of the sin and shame of little fruit as robbing God of the glory He ought to get from us. Let us learn the secret of bringing glory to God - serving with the ability which God gave us. The full acceptance of Christ's word, "You can do nothing"; the simple faith in God, who works all in all; the abiding in Christ through whom the divine Husbandman does His work and gets much fruit - this is the life that will bring glory to God.
Much fruit. God asks it; see that you give it. God can be content with nothing less; you be content with nothing less. Let these words of Christ -fruit, more fruit, much fruit - abide in you until you think as He does. Be prepared to take from Him, the heavenly Vine, what He has for you. Much fruit: herein is My Father glorified. Let the very height of the demand be your encouragement. It is so entirely beyond your power that it throws you more entirely upon Christ, your true Vine. He can, He will, make it true in you.
Much fruit. God asks because He needs. He does not ask fruit from the branches of His Vine for show - to prove what He can do. No, He needs it for the salvation of men. It is in this way that He is to be glorified. Throw yourself in much prayer on your Vine and your Husbandman. Cry to God and your Father to give you fruit to bring to men. Take the Father to give you fruit to bring to men. Take the burden of the hungry and the perishing on you, as Jesus did when He was moved with compassion. Then, your power in prayer, your abiding, and your bearing much fruit to the glory of the Father will have a reality and a certainty you never knew before.
The Father glorified. Blessed prospect - God glorifying Himself in me, showing forth the glory of His goodness and power in what He works in me, and through me. What a motive to bear much fruit, just as much as He works in me! Father, glorify Yourself in me. Amen