You can find me on the Five Minute Friday writing prompt link-up, hosted by Kate Motaung. FMF is a community of writers with wonderful words to share. We write for just five minutes (fair warning, that’s a struggle for me) and post in the link-up. The writing prompt this week is, STAY. Join this week’s link-up and read other posts here I’m also posting on Faith on Fire, Lyli Dunbars link-up for the first time this week.
John 15:16 You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. (CEV)
In chapter 15 of the Gospel of John, Jesus assures us of His love. He calls us friends and, most importantly, says He chose us and gave us a purpose in life. (John 15:16)
Let’s look at the verse. What is this saying? You might think, I don’t have a green thumb, how can I produce fruit? Only in Christ, my friends.
Think about that. Jesus chose us. He was speaking to the apostles, but this applies to believers today. Jesus could have stayed on earth, even made Himself the King they wanted Him to be. In obedience to the Father, Jesus went to the cross (Luke 22:42). He accepted all the sin of this world (past, present, and future) and fully demonstrated His love for us. God sacrificed His only son for each one of us (John 3:16). He loves us, and He chose us for a purpose.
He chose you.
As we read this passage in John, Jesus talks about vines, pruning, producing fruit, and much fruit. He also talks about the Gardener removing the withering vines that don’t produce fruit and discarding them in a fire.
Jesus is the True Vine. (v.1)
God is the Gardener. (v.1)
We are the branches. (v. 5)
Pre-Christians, they are potentially the fruit.
This is where we go
Now, what’s this bearing fruit business? Let’s review the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. Here Jesus gives the disciples a job description to share the Good News in His power and authority. That means go. As much as they wanted to stay sheltered in place in the upper room after Jesus died, He told them to go, and they went.
As believers in Christ, it is also our job to go and tell others about Him. We must be willing to share the Good News, let others see Jesus in our daily living and interactions with others, and be a friend that is available to have conversations about Christ. You may even introduce someone to Christ for the very first time. Awesome, huh!
This is where we stay
Like branches turned upward toward the sun, we also reach upward in prayer. Stay in prayer, asking for the right words and courage to step out in faith (1 Chronicles 16:11). In doing so, this shows we are His disciples with a willingness to disciple others (v.7). We don’t have to coax, force, or overpower either, just be willing and available. I believe that when we let the truth speak for itself, the Holy Spirit does the rest, for those with open hearts.
Let us not allow any branches to wither and fall away from Christ. And let’s be sure to stay in Christ and the word of God also for our nourishment, which guards against our withering from weariness and lack of enthusiasm, as not everyone is receptive. At times it may feel like a losing battle, but nothing God wastes nothing (1 Corinthians 15:58). Just remember that we plant, feed, and water to the best of our ability. It is God who takes care of the growing (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).
When we have a willingness to engage in those conversations about Jesus, God has a way of pruning away extraneous distractions. He cultivates faith in our new found friends, so they tell their friends, and so on, and so on. That is bearing fruit. No green thumb needed.
This post took a bit longer than five minutes to write, but I was having fun. Thanks for getting to the end.
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