Thursday, June 21st, 2012
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” John 15:16
Have you ever grabbed a piece of fruit to eat only to discover that it is rotten? From a distance it looks good, but once you examine it closely, you see that it is beginning to go bad? Maybe the outside is still okay, but you can feel it beginning to soften on the inside? Or, have you ever seen a bowl full of fruit that looks so delicious that you wonder if it is real? You just cannot tell, so finally you just have to reach out and touch it to see if it is fake or real fruit?
In John chapter 15, Jesus is explaining to His disciples the importance of staying connected to Him through the Holy Spirit. “Apart from Me you can do nothing,” Jesus tells them. To illustrate His point, Jesus gives them the example of a vine (Jesus) and branches (disciples). Just as branches on a tree cannot bear any fruit without being connected to the vine, as Christians we cannot do God’s will apart from Christ.
In John 15:16, Jesus begins to explain to His disciples why He chose them. He is trying to help them understand the purpose of their lives as His followers. He knows that His time on the earth is coming to an end and He is entrusting them with His ministry to the lost. “Go and bear fruit,” He tells them…”fruit that will last.”
Why did Jesus use this example to illustrate His point? To answer this question, it helps to think about the purpose of fruit. It is meant to feed and nourish. It is meant to satisfy and fill. It tastes good. Fruit also leaves seeds that can be replanted. It reproduces. Jesus is reminding the disciples to invest their lives in the eternal, not the temporary. The fruit of their lives will last as long as they are living in Him. In this example Christ is revealing His will for all of His followers. Our lives should feed and nourish those with empty, hungry, longing souls. We should be seed-planters of the gospel.
How are you spending your life? Every life bears some type of fruit, the question is, what kind? Is it the temporary fruit of the world that looks nice on the outside but is empty inside? Or is it the lasting fruit that is born from a life that is connected to Jesus? God’s will is that you bear fruit, fruit that will last.
Dear Jesus, I admit that I cannot do God’s will on my own. You must do it through me. I want my life to bear lasting fruit. Please help me to depend on You, trust You, and obey You more and more each day. It is in Your name I pray, Amen.