“I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (Jn 15:5,16)
What did Jesus mean we would bear fruit that will last? Was He talking about a good education for your kids, a happy marriage, or a successful job? Although these things could produce a lasting effect, I don’t think that’s His intent here.
God is always more interested in eternal results than temporal ones. Therefore, Jesus must be talking about spiritual fruit.
So what is spiritual fruit? Can we see it and what does it look like? How do we recognize the spiritual outworking of our Lord? Here are a few examples:
- The salvation of a soul
- Spiritual growth of any kind in you or others
- The manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit
- Responding to the conviction or a prompting of the Holy Spirit
- Sacrificially loving others
Simply put, anytime we act like Christ or help others act like Christ is evidence of spiritual fruit.
As mentioned last time, the purpose of producing fruit is not for us, but for the benefit of others and the glory of God.
So how can we increase our yield to bring God greater glory? Jesus tells us.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5)*
Our role is to abide in Christ and let Him be the Producer.
But what does abiding in Him entail? The original word “abide” means to stay in a given place, state or relation; to abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand.1
This is what I believe abiding in Christ means:
Living with Jesus
Not just visiting. It’s living in harmony with Jesus—or at least striving to. Living with someone also implies a love relationship. You don’t willingly choose to live with someone you don’t love.
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (Jn 14:23)
When we accept Jesus as our Savior He comes to live in us. What a profound thought—that the God of the universe is dwelling inside each believer as a Permanent Resident!
Living in His Word
Since Jesus is the Word (Jn 1:1), abiding in Him means reading, studying, and meditating upon His Word. It’s letting His living Word become part of you—cleansing, nourishing, enlightening, transforming, and reviving your very soul. His Word is life itself.
For in him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)
Living out in Obedience
It’s applying what you know. When God’s truths become part of who you are, you will act according to His Word (Pr 23:7).
Our Creator God is the One in charge, the Boss/Head of the home. If we want to live in harmony with Him, we must submit to His wishes. [There’s that beautiful word again!]. But may I tell you?
You’ll want to obey because to know Him is to love Him.
Do you have a desire to glorify the Name of Jesus Christ with your life; to produce a huge crop for His Kingdom? Then strive to continually abide in Christ, allowing Him to transform your thinking and behavior. This takes time, effort, and discipline.
But the resulting sweet intimacy and satisfaction will be well worth it!
*New King James Version (NKJV)®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All other Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.