Archive for September 2nd, 2010

John 15

John 15 contains some powerful truth on just how life should be as a Christ Follower.  Jesus doesn’t sugar coat things here at all.  This chapter is filled with “if….then” statements – there are a lot of dependencies identified that impact how we should live for Him.  He clearly tells us what we are to do:

–      “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide”

–      This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you

–      Abide in me, and I in you

Jesus makes it clear it is about the relationship, and what we do as a result of that relationship – which needs to be obedience and bearing fruit.  When scripture talks about fruit – it is usually in a couple ways.  First there is the internal growth that we need to have – the “fruits of the Spirit” that should be springing up inside us and showing that we are Christ Followers.  Secondly, fruit is an indication of reproduction – the external result of sharing our faith and living as a disciple and leading others to Jesus.  We should show fruit both ways – growing internally as a Christ Follower – and growing the body of Christ externally by leading others to the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Fortunately Jesus helps us see how that can happen.  But first – He is very clear about what we will experience as a Christ Follower.  Remember that these are the words He shares as He is preparing to leave His disciples.  This is given to those who are most closely following Him – so it is written to us as believers.  There are two outcomes that we will experience:

–      “Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit He takes away

–      Every brand that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit

We are going to receive some corrective action in our lives as a Christ Follower.  If we aren’t bearing any fruit – there is a real problem that He will deal with.  I don’t believe that this is saying we will lose our salvation or anything like that – but it does say we will not be receiving God’s focus and touch.  We are missing the mark of what we have been called to do and therefore will be put aside.  If we are working to bear fruit the way Jesus tells us – we will be pruned – just like a vineyard keeper prunes his grape vines – so more fruit can occur.  It isn’t punishment but preparation to be able to bear even more.  That is God’s desire for us – to keep us bearing more and more fruit as we go through life.  That doesn’t mean it will be easy or fun – but it does mean it will be best for us.

So what’s the big deal about bearing fruit?  “You bear much fruit and prove to be my disciples”.  It is the sign that we are on track with Jesus.  Note it doesn’t say you bear some fruit – it says you bear much fruit.  Fruit bearing is not a once in a while experience.  It is an ongoing daily result of abiding in Jesus.  How do we abide – that seems to be key to all this – “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love”.  It all comes down to obedience.  There is no rocket science or magic required here.  We need to know God’s truth – and live it.  We need to stay close to Jesus by living a life that is pleasing to God – and that means obedience.  Does it matter?  Well Jesus tells us plainly it does because as we abide in Him – that is how “your joy may be full”.  Struggling to find joy in your life?  Maybe you are doing your own thing without regard to God’s plan and failing to experience God’s joy for you because you are focused on the wrong thing – self – rather than abiding in Jesus?  We have been chosen to go and bear fruit, and that the fruit we bear should abide.  It all happens when we learn to love God’s way.  How do we know when we are on that path?  Jesus tells us “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends”.  It is when we get to the point where we put others first – that is when we begin to get the heart of God and experience what He desires for us.  Are you bearing fruit?  Internally and externally?  Are you becoming more like Jesus every day and leading others to a personal relationship with Him?  If people follow you, is that where they will end up?  Life matters, we need to live it well!

%d bloggers like this: