On an early morning walk, I spotted something blocking the path ahead of me. Several yards down the sidewalk, a massive bunch of tree branches had spilled over a white fence. The branches were weighed down with mature, red apples! The fruit was everywhere—far too many to count. As I neared the tree, I had to step off the sidewalk and move into the wet grass to get around the overflowing mass.

Like a thriving fruit tree during the harvest season, Paul noted that the gospel message was bearing fruit everywhere in the ancient world (Colossians 1:6). The fruit, he said, was lives that had been changed. Paul’s observation wasn’t simply hearsay. He had been spreading the message himself and watching the fruit multiply—both within the lives of Christ-followers and numerically as more and more people came to understand God’s grace.

The good news of Jesus is still changing lives today. When a person believes in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sin (Romans 3:23-25), that person receives salvation and a deep sense of hope. It’s a “confident hope of what God has reserved for [us] in heaven” (Colossians 1:5). According to Paul, this hope perpetuates our faith and stimulates our love for other people—especially toward our believing brothers and sisters (Colossians 1:4).

Anyone who has this hope should want to share it (Acts 20:24). And yet, it can be hard to know when and how to pass on the message. Thankfully, the effectiveness of the gospel—its ability to bear fruit everywhere—doesn’t depend on the delivery or the messenger. The power is in the message itself. Paul said, “[The good news] is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 13:1-21