Why are we here? According to the following verses, we are here on this planet – “to bear much, lasting fruit”.
John 15:16 – You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain,
John 15:8 – My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
God chose us to be fruitful during our lifetime. We are to reflect His character to a lost world. He said we are His body – His hands, His arms, His heart, His feet, etc. so that people can see and experience what He is like when they are with us. What an amazing opportunity, and responsibility.
The honest echoing in our heart tells us that we don’t do a very good job of this. It’s hard to reflect something with a dirty mirror. Our selfish life-focus mars the reflection, and keeps us centered on what we want, instead of what He wants. So, how do we do a better job of bearing fruit?
John 15:5 – I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
First – we have to recognize that we cannot bear good fruit, lasting fruit, by ourselves. Without choosing a daily, and deliberate, lifestyle of abiding (living, walking) with Christ – we are doomed to merely produce crab apples. Those are little apples that look like apples, but are not the real thing. We think that we are producing “much fruit” because we attend church, or a small group meeting; or even occasionally read our Bible, or give some money. Truth is – abiding in Him is not about doing religious activities, but about enjoying communion with a Person. Without that – we can do “nothing”.
Second – Once we recognize that bearing fruit in this life is not about us, but about Him – we must decide to die. Paul told the church at Corinth – “I die every day”. John also knew the secret to being a powerful, fruitful believer – John 12:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. It is only in dying that real, lasting fruit will ever be produced in our lives.
Next time, we’ll look into what Jesus had to say on this subject,what dying means, and what kind of fruit is actually produced in our lives if we are living this way. Come back….