God’s Purpose Is Fruitfulness
“Draw me nearer, Lord; never let me go. Closer to Your heart; draw me nearer” (Meredith Andrews).
Read John 15:1–8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does being close to Jesus look like?
At creation, God made a rich and fruitful world. But when Adam and Eve took the fruit, everything went pear-shaped. Part of the curse in Genesis 3 is difficulty in fruit-bearing: both in childbirth and in working the ground.
Many years later, God chose Israel and said they were the vine he brought out of Egypt (Psa. 80:8). They were his beloved vineyard, but instead of producing good grapes, they gave him stink-fruit (Isa. 5:1–5). But God’s purpose is fruitfulness, and he looked forward to a vineyard that would not fail; a pleasant, fruitful garden that would overflow and fill the world with good fruit (Isa. 27:2–9).
So when Jesus says, “I am the true vine” (1), he is fulfilling all that God yearned for and that Israel failed to be. Through Jesus, the wilderness
will be pushed back and the world filled with fruit. And we, as we remain in him, bear fruit for him (4,5).
So what is our fruit? A harvest of new believers? The fruit of the Spirit seen in our character (Gal. 5:22,23)? Or the justice and righteousness in society (Isa. 5)? Don Carson says Jesus probably means all three: “The fruit is everything done in conformity to the will of Jesus Christ”
(Jesus and His Friends, 110).
What might fruitfulness look like in your life this week as you remain close to Jesus?
Read Galatians 5:22-23 and 1 Corinthians 13. Pray that God would fill your life with this kind of fruit.
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