Is what you are doing “fruit” that will last?
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Jesus, recorded in John 15:16
In June of 1995, my wife and I moved to White Cloud, Michigan where I would be ordained and installed as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church on the anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession.
The brothers and sisters in Christ at White Cloud provided a wonderful home for us to live in – perfect size for the two of us and our Black Lab Seamus.
The backyard has a nice deck for us to sit and grill and enjoy western Michigan evenings. We were surrounded by dozens of pine trees planted by previous owners that formed a natural and aromatic fence.
The soil of the yard was sandy. This, I found out, was perfect for growing strawberries – one of my very favorites (a close second to blueberries, my favorite).
I planted a strawberry patch in the back yard the following summer and a wonderful crop of succulent strawberries was God’s blessing to us.
Growing fruit is not always an easy thing.
Certain species grow in specific types of soil as well as regions of the world.
Just south of White Cloud, there are hectares of apple orchards. South of that region is where many cherry trees grow.
Growing strawberries in my backyard the summer of 1996 was a way for God to remind me that he calls me – and all Christians – to bear fruit that will abide.
The deciding factor on whether what we bear will abide or not is not the soil, nor the nutrients we give it.
It is love.
Love makes the fruit we bear abide. And love is the fruit we bear!
How do we know what love God is talking about? He tells us! Keep his commandments. Love one another as Jesus loved us. He loved us so much he died on a cross to save us from sin, death, and the power of the devil.
The result of this fruit that abides is joy. Joy that is full.
How this fruit will grow will be different for each of us. It may be raising children to know Jesus. This kind of fruit may be a life-long marriage that inspires others. Love can be shared by paying for the order of the car behind you at the Starbucks or McDonald’s drive-through window.
Jesus makes it clear that keeping his commandments – to love one another as he has loved us – is not understood as a command like in the military (voluntelling instead of volunteering).
It is a response to his love as to a friend, not a master.
Jesus calls us his friends. Jesus chooses us and appoints us to bear much fruit.
Fruit that will abide.
Fruit that is love.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for giving me your Holy Spirit. This allows me to love you as Jesus has loved me. Help me, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to bear much fruit, abiding fruit, of love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
© 2018 True Men Ministries