“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV)
I know that you want to bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom and my glory. How do you know that? I have heard you pray that prayer many times. That was you wasn’t it? You’re kidding me. What do you think? Yes, you are kidding me. It was me. That has been a frequent prayer of mine. Yes, I know. I hear all your prayers.
Let’s talk about fruit bearing. I will start by asking you some questions. Go right ahead. When have you worked really hard and seen absolutely no fruit from your labor? I’m not sure. Go ahead, make a guess. Sometimes I have dreamed up a project all by myself. I didn’t really consult with you about it. The project just seemed like a good idea to me. But, after a lot of hard work I knew that it was not bearing fruit. Your hand was not on it. It was just a lot of self-effort on my part. It was my good idea. It was not your good idea. It was not what you were calling me to do for you. Let’s take a step back for a minute. I have another question for you. What is it?
What is fruit? That’s a good question. It’s important to know. Yes, it is. The fruit that I want to bear is fruit that will last for all eternity. There is a lot of activity in life that might look like it is accomplishing something important. If that activity doesn’t stand the test of time and last forever it isn’t the fruit that you are calling me to bear for you. No, it is not. Apart from me you will never be able to bear this kind of fruit. Do you know why we took a step back to consider this question? My good ideas will never be able to bear fruit for you. No, they will not. You must listen to me. You must hear my call. You must go where I guide you to do what I ask of you. Then and only then will you be able to bear fruit that will glorify me. This kind of fruit will last for all eternity.
Let me clarify something for you. What’s that? The amount of fruit you will bear for me will correspond to how you abide in your relationship with me. Do you want to abide in me? Yes, I do. Will you spend time with me? Yes, I will. Will you spend time meeting with me in my word? Yes, I will. Will you listen to all that I have to say to you? Yes, I will. Will spend time talking with and listening to me in prayer? Yes, I will. Will you bow yourself down to worship me? Yes, to all your questions. My life is fully devoted to loving, following and serving you. Yes, I can see that it is.
As you abide in me and my word abides in you I want to know what I will be doing. What’s that? My word will be purifying and cleansing your life. My word will work in you, with you and for you. My word will prune from your life what is not pleasing me to me. As you remain in me and I prune your life you will be able to bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom and my glory. Then people that look at you will see me. Then they will know that you are one of my disciples. Is that what you want? Yes Lord, I want that more than anything in all of life. Then that is what you will have.
Lord, I will remain in you. Apart from you I can do nothing. Use your word to change my heart, transform my mind, and purify my life. Help me to live a life that bears an abundance of fruit for your glory. Help me to show that I truly am one of your disciples. Amen
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