"And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred" (Mark 4:20).
In the familiar parable of the sower, the seed (representing the word of God) was cast on four types of soil, only one of which was "good ground." Even in this productive soil, it is noteworthy that there were three different degrees of fruitbearing, evidently denoting three different categories of productivity in the genuine Christian life.
There are a number of other instructive terms used for these three levels of Christian fruitbearing. Jesus said: "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. . . . He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit" (John 15:2,5). Fruit; more fruit; much fruit! The highest category implies great sacrifice. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24).
There are different "rewards" for the Christian, based on fruitfulness. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 1:7). The first is for faithful stewardship of God's truth (I Corinthians 4:1). When the Lord comes, "then shall every man have praise of God" (I Corinthians 4:5). However, honor belongs to the dedicated servant: "If any man serve me . . . him will my Father honor" (John 12:26). Finally, glory is for those who truly suffer with Christ, "if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:17).
May God help us to be rewarded with all three--praise and honor and glory--when He comes. HMM