Bearing Loving Fruit

Homemade watermelon salad provided by my husband.

Scripture:

John 15:16-17
You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Observation:

Jesus is speaking to his disciples and they are charged to love one another, and to bear fruit. There seems to be a connection between love and fruit bearing, for when the plant is fed by holy love, it bears fruit that will last. Whatever is needed for tending the fruit is available from the Father, we simply need to ask. All of this is to be done so that Jesus’ disciples will love one another. 

Application:

I would guess that many of us might feel uncomfortable with the idea that Jesus has appointed us to go and bear fruit. Some older translations used the word ordained and therefore some would view this as a calling which would only be embraced by those called to the ministry. However, I don’t think that’s what Jesus is doing here. He is calling disciples, and every one who is a follower of Jesus Christ is a disciple! 

It seems that there are particular characteristics that should be revealed in the life of the disciples and the most overarching, is that of love. Love should be what defines every action and motivation of the disciples. Holy love should pour out and infuse the world with the sweet perfume of God’s presence and peace. The disciple is fruit, sweet and succulent, who bears more fruit of the same kind. 

This means that we must evaluate fruit on two levels. We must consider what kind of fruit we are personally, and then, what kind of fruit we are bearing. I love eating fruit for breakfast. Just today I had honeydew melon, pineapple, blueberries and strawberries. Some of the fruit was better than others. Sometimes I struggle with the melons when they are hard and not yet altogether ripe. At the same time, when the melons are soft and juicy, they are simply amazing. A follower of Christ will have been influenced by other disciples. I would hope and pray that the persons who have influenced our lives are those who would help us to become ripe and juicy, succulent and sweet with the love of Christ, helping to feed a very hungry world. If that’s not the way in which we would be described, maybe we need to take a little time to become mature so that God can use us for the intended purpose of fruit bearing. 

While there are some who would be uncomfortable with this idea of fruit bearing, declaring that Jesus has not called them to bring others to him, I think that probably most everyone bears fruit. It just may not be healthy fruit. It may not be fruit that lasts. I would venture to guess that this may mean that we haven’t taken the time to have our own fruit cultivated, and we haven’t called upon the Father to provide everything that we need for fruit bearing. 

We seem to think that we need to do all of the work on our own. That’s just as ridiculous as thinking that we could actually make an orange tree grow oranges on our own! The seeds come from God and all the necessary design for an orange tree is contained therein. We simply come alongside that which God has already created and have the joy of cultivation and harvesting. The same is true spiritually. Everything necessary has already been provided by God; the DNA of holy love is infused into the fruit, if only we will remain in relationship and dependence upon the Father. 

The command is to bear loving fruit. When we embrace the appointment and live in dependence, the world is transformed by holy, loving fruit. The holy love of God is ripe, sweet and succulent, providing for the needs of a hungry world. 

Prayer:


Lord, thank you for the appointment. I need you to provide for me so that I may bear your loving fruit. Amen. 

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