The Fruitful Christian
Today’s reading: John 13:1-15:17
My selection: John 15:4-5
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
My reflections: The life of the Christian is intended to be fruitful. This fruit comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ which is described as one of abiding, as a branch bears fruit as it is connected to a vine. How does that abiding, connected relationship look?
1. Dependence. A Christian does not produce fruit merely by his own power or ability. There is a dependence on the Lord evidenced, in part, by prayer (15:7, 16).
2. Love-motivated obedience (14:21). Neither is the Christian passive in producing fruit. He is called to demonstrate his love for Christ by knowing and obeying the commands of his Lord, for example, to love others as Christ loved (13:34, 35; 15:12).
3. God-glorifying works. The ultimate purpose of the fruit is to bring glory to God. Jesus even said His disciples would bear “greater works” than He did through His going to the Father and sending the Spirit (14:12).
My challenge: Jesus showed unequaled love toward His disciples. If you think the people in your life are hard to love, check out the 12. Impetuous Peter. Doubting Thomas. The traitor Judas. And these were His closest friends. Jesus loved by speaking the truth in love. Love is not telling others what they want to hear, but telling them what they need to hear. Love as Christ loved.
Tomorrow’s reading: John 15:18-18:18