Being fruitful (1)
When Jesus said, ‘I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last,’ He was saying, ‘Spend your life aiming for things and doing things that have lasting significance and eternal value!’ What does He mean by ‘fruit’? ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). Those nine qualities describe the only life that’s truly worth living. Fortunately, we’re not left to produce this kind of fruit through our own efforts. And in fact, we never will be able to do it alone. Jesus said this: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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…No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 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’ (John 15:1-2, 4-5 NIV). Jesus is speaking to every believer, ‘every branch in me’ (v.2 NIV). God, who is 'the gardener’ (v.1 NIV), has a goal for each of us: to be ‘even more fruitful’ (v.2 NIV). And the secret of fruitfulness is staying in constant contact with Jesus and developing a close relationship with Him. ‘If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit’ (v.5 NIV). So, if we want to be more fruitful, let's draw closer to Him and look forward to the amazing ways He'll use us.
Pray that your relationship with God will continue to grow stronger and stronger, and that you’ll be especially fruitful for Him in the year ahead.
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