Theme of the Week: Abiding in Christ
Bible Verse: You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:16 NKJV
Scripture Reading: John 15:8, 16; Galatians 5:16-25; Colossians 1:9-14
Our backyard once contained a solitary, old, large apple tree. Some years it would produce baskets of apples, other years a few handfuls. Those bountiful years we tried every apple recipe we could find, and my waistline could testify to the fact. Apple trees are designed to produce apples. And although there are seasons of more yield than others, if a farmer’s apple orchard produced no fruit ever, well, it wouldn’t be a very lucrative venture.
Fruit trees are designed to produce fruit. In the same way, disciples of Jesus are designed to produce fruit, and according to Jesus in this passage, fruit that will last. In verse 8, he states that the fruit we produce not only glorifies God but proves the veracity of our discipleship.
What kind of things should be produced in our lives? We can find that answer in the words of the apostle Paul: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV) This brings incredible clarity and a great self-assessment of our growth as a follower of Christ.
So in this season, we can ask ourselves hard questions: have we produced more kindness with our neighbors, more joy in our journey, more longsuffering towards lockdowns, more gentleness towards our family, more self-control in our habits? Abiding in Christ should develop these natural by-products, and if we find any of them lacking, it might be time to look at our abiding.
It is the work of God in us that prepares us for the work of God through us. Reflect on the challenge from Paul in Colossians 1:10 to “…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (ESV)
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