John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
This whole passage is so incredibly rich that after reading it I had to just sit for a few minutes, asking what I was to write on. Andrae Crouch’s song, My Tribute, came to mind. “How can I give thanks for the things that you’ve done for me?” It goes on to say, “The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude.” I very much feel that way as I read, really anywhere in the Upper Room Discourse and the Pastoral Prayer that follows. Specifically thinking of this verse, every person is concerned about their life having meaning, about leaving a legacy, if you will. The thing is, God wants us to do exactly that, and Jesus tells us how. In verses 4 and 5 Jesus makes no bones about how we are helpless/worthless apart from Him, but even in verse 5 He promises that if we remain in Him, we will be fruitful. That is the context of this verse. Disciples aren’t particularly significant apart from the master they follow. We have the ultimate Master, and we must never forget it. One of the fundamental attributes of God is glory, and here Jesus tells us that when we bear fruit as His disciples, it gives God glory. The more you think about that, the more mind-blowing it is. God wants us to bear fruit, for our sake and for His own. We need to trust Him with that.
This is of great relevance for me, because I have passed 70 and I minister in Japan, a place notorious for sparse fruit from Christian ministry. Just in the past couple of weeks I’ve been given various opportunities to touch people as a representative of Christ, and the responses haven’t been bad. I need to remember that God is even more desirous of my being fruitful than I am! My task is to abide in Christ and allow Him to abide in me, because Jesus cannot be unfruitful. I am to be careful to make the most of every opportunity, (Colossians 4:5) so that the seed of the Word may be planted in every bit of soil that is ready for it. I’m not a good judge of the readiness of the soil, but the Holy Spirit is, and I’ve got to listen to Him. If I will be faithful in that, planting and watering, God will provide the fruit, for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. There is so much going on all around me that I have a definite impulse to run and hide, particularly with the cold I have at the moment. Help me not run from any situation into which You lead me, but rather be fully obedient as a disciple of Christ Jesus my Lord. Thank You. Praise God!