Do you produce fruit or do you consumer fruit? Spiritual fruit that is, not banana’s, apples or oranges; but I’m sure you knew that….
John 15:5-8 says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
There is so much going on in these few lines of scripture:
• Jesus makes it clear that we cannot produce fruit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) outside of Him. Do we try to do it all on our own? Sadly, all the time.
• “Apart from me you can do nothing.” A strong and very clear message. I think about how often I spin my wheels trying to produce, only to find myself in the same place hours or days later. Why do I expend precious time and effort without seeking the direction the Lord wants me to go? It is fruitless to move according to my own perceived wisdom.
• If we do not “remain” in Jesus, we are “like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” In my minds eye I see people being thrown into the fires of hell. We are told to fear the Lord, God. I would be very concerned if this doesn’t bring to light the reality of that command.
• “If you remain in me and my words remain in you” Is there any doubt of the importance of God’s word? Not just reading His word, but internalizing scripture. It must be who you are. Scripture says that we are made in the image of Christ. This scripture in John 15 helps us understand how we reflect the image of Jesus. We must remain in Him – stay close to Him and seek Him. How do we do that? By having His word in us, by listening and learning; by always seeking to obey Him and when we don’t; repent.
• Next, as we remain in Him and keep His words in us, we are told to “ask whatever” we “wish, and it will be done for you.” Are you wondering how can this be? You’ve probably had something that you prayed for, but you didn’t receive it. I believe what the Lord is saying is that when we are walking so closely with Him and we have His word deeply internalized, our requests will more naturally be in alignment with His will. And, our desires are naturally the desires of God.
• “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit.” I can’t think of anything more grand than knowing I am bringing glory to my heavenly Father.
It is oh so easy to get caught up in life and become a fruit consumer. Robbing others of their love, joy, peace, kindness, etc. Having a “what about me” attitude and behaviors that are selfish or self-destructive, and thus, negatively effecting all those around us.
Read and re-read the above scripture. Write in on a 3×5 card and carry it with you. Pray that you would live by it.