JOHN 15 has always been a reread for me………I love the visual of JESUS being the rich vine and how over time we become the ripe fruit just hanging on to HIM in healthy abundance. We are to produce a rich harvest for our VINEDRESSER!
Let me ask you: are you producing fruit that is of high lasting quality or are you dropping your rotten fruit along the path you’re on?
This past week while on vacation I witnessed someone who produces that high quality fruit…….honestly I want to be more like her. Because she was a little late to our gathering, I was able to observe her from the moment she arrived on the doorstep of my friend’s home. I noticed how she entered the living room with a huge smile, an apology for being late and joy-filled arms bearing gifts. I was particularly touched that day by how she greeted my son. She had never met him before, but she knew his story and many times with me, had faithfully prayed for him.
As my grown son reached out his hand, she took it saying how wonderful it was to meet him, but then she pulled him into a warm hug as she told him how often he was prayed for. Without letting go of his hand, she continued to smile big as she looked square into his eyes. She repeated how thrilled she was to have a face now to put with the name. This type of “hello” we could all learn from. It’s a greeting that makes a person feel without a doubt that they are the most important person in the room. Don’t we all want to feel this way?
And wasn’t JESUS just like that with HIS people! If you read HIS stories, JESUS crossed paths with people in a very profound way. The recipient of HIS gaze must have been impressed and loved in a way like none other. I like to imagine what it would be like to look into JESUS’ eyes. I know in my heart no person was ever left the same way after an encounter with the Shepherd…….HE definitely spread good fruit everywhere HE went!
JOHN 15;5 “YES, I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. THOSE WHO REMAIN IN ME, AND I IN THEM, WILL PRODUCE MUCH FRUIT.”
Our producing of high quality fruit only happens when we remain in HIM and abide “with” HIM…….
JOHN 15; 16 “I APPOINTED YOU TO GO AND PRODUCE LASTING FRUIT…….”
A lasting fruit is a high quality fruit. Our fruit should continue from generation to generation, but that cannot happen unless the fruit is of high quality. The fruits of the Spirit are: love, kindness, gentleness, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. (Galatians 5: 22-23) I’ve always looked at this list thinking I could never have all these qualities, but that was an excuse. Now I “want” these qualities more than anything……..I want to be more like JESUS in every way possible. How about you? When we strive to be more like HIM, we spread the good fruit of the Spirit upon everyone we meet.
OUR WORLD RIGHT NOW COULD BENEFIT FROM HIGH QUALITY FRUIT!
Think about what just happened in Orlando! We must embrace one another as human beings who love one another and don’t judge! Our good fruit must counteract against all the evil in the world. Producing good fruit sheds light into a dark and twisted world. GOD commands us to be that light……..JESUS was and is that light…….and we should be as well. It takes courage and strength to do this, but GOD doesn’t leave us alone in our battle. When we abide in HIM, HE gives us all the strength and wisdom we need. If we stay close to HIM, abide daily, then HIS wisdom gives us authentic discernment to know when and where that “fruit” is needed.
Sometimes the scary stuff of this world makes me want to run and hide…….
But I know GOD doesn’t want me to stick my head in the sand, turn off the news and live in my own little bubble. Every person we encounter is GOD’S child and we are HIS hands and feet. We can be that joy, peace, goodness, gentleness and love to someone else. And so…….. may the HOLY SPIRIT come upon you daily to give you those fruits that make a difference in your world……..for now and forevermore.
JOHN 15:4 “ABIDE IN ME, AND I IN YOU. AS THE BRANCH CANNOT BEAR FRUIT OF ITSELF, UNLESS IT ABIDES IN THE VINE, NEITHER CAN YOU, UNLESS YOU ABIDE IN ME.”