You didn’t choose me, but I’ve chosen and commissioned you to go into the world to bear fruit. And your fruit will last, because whatever you ask of my Father, for my sake, he will give it to you! (John 15:16 TPT)
I’m always bemused by the phrase, “I found God”. We didn’t find Him. He found us. He chose us from the foundation of the world and preordained we would bear fruit. This isn’t just any old fruit either. It is a fruit that is eternal. It is Kingdom fruit.
Let us explore this notion of bearing fruit as part of our identities in Christ Jesus.
We are on a mission!
We have work to do here on the earth. We didn’t choose Him. He chose us. All we did was respond to the call. Simon Peter and his brother Andrew were going about their business as fishermen when Jesus called them (Matt. 4:19). He promised to make them “fishers of men”. They were chosen to fulfil a divine purpose that was not even on their horizon.
Similarly, we have been chosen by God for a unique calling and purpose. He spoke us into this earth with gifts and talents that are “without repentance” (Rom. 11:29 KJV). This means He does not change His mind about us. All He’s waiting for is a “Yes, God”.
We need to be a “Christ-germ”. Everything we touch touches Christ. Let us have a similar accusation levelled against us as Paul faced in Acts 24:5.
For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. (Acts 24:5 KJV)
We need to be a people who shift the atmosphere wherever we go. What we carry is far greater than whatever comes against us.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4 KJV, emphasis added)
Where are the disturbers? Disruptors? Agitators? I prophesy the disturbers are coming in great numbers in the Name of Jesus! They are armed and dangerous and ready to shake their worlds to their very foundation.
We WILL bear fruit
I love the promise in John 15:16. We WILL bear fruit. It’s not an ‘if’, ‘but’ or a ‘maybe’. If you abide in Christ, the Vine, you WILL bear fruit.
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. (John 15:4, emphasis added)
What is this fruit? I believe it is the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. These are all expressions and manifestations of the love of God in our lives.
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless. (Gal. 5:22-23 TPT)
We need to show His love in all we do. It needs to be the rhythm we set our lives by. Our gifts and talents are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). They will work regardless of whether or not we practice them in love. The reason the famous ‘love chapter’ of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, is punctuated between the discussion on spiritual gifts in chapters 12 and 14, is because love must be the motivating factor for the use of our gifts. Jesus said we would be known as His disciples by our love for one another.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)
It is important to remember fruit takes time to grow. The promise is we WILL bear fruit. It does not promise instantaneous results. Be patient with yourself and trust the process. He is forming and shaping you into a marvel and a wonder. Remember when a seed is planted in the ground it is planted in the dark. The seed must first take root before it can shoot and grow a plant. Fruit is indicative of a matured plant. He is working in your life. Abide in Him and you WILL see it.
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (Phil. 2:13 NLT)
Our fruit will last
The fruit He grows in our lives has the promise of eternity. Our fruit has perennial efficacy. In John 15:16, the Greek word for ‘last’ or ‘remain’ is menó. In English, this means “not to perish, to last, stand”. The fruit we produce for the Kingdom is eternal. This reminds me of the phrase by Maximus in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, “What we do in life, echoes in eternity”. This is true whether we are fruitful or not. We need to make sure what we do produces fruit that will last and have eternal value.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matt. 6:19-20)
How then do we produce lasting fruit? There are three basic but profound directives from Jesus in John’s gospel.
First, we need to die to self.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. (John 12:24 NLT, emphasis added)
We must remember we have been crucified with Christ and the lives we now live in the flesh, we live for the glory of God. Our selfish desires and wants must be crucified—daily.
My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine! (Gal. 2:20 TPT)
This will then empower us to live in our true purpose. His life is now in us.
Second, we must love others.
So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13 TPT)
There is great reward in living to serve others in the Name of Christ.
Finally, we must abide in Him. We cannot bear fruit unless we abide in the Vine—Jesus Christ.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Concluding thoughts and activation
God has chosen us from the foundation of the world with unique gifts and talents to bear lasting fruit for His Kingdom. Will you respond to the call? Step outside of your limitations and step into His strength in you. Without Him, we CAN not. Without us, He WILL not.
If you want to step into all He has for you, pray this prayer with me:
Father, You have chosen me from the foundation of the world. You have gifted me with unique talents and abilities. Today, Lord, I choose to use these for Your glory. Let all that I do be done in love. Let all that I do be done for Your glory and Your kingdom. Teach me patience in my seasons of waiting. I know You are at work within me. I know the fruit of the Spirit is already mine in Christ Jesus but they need time to grow. When I struggle to be patient, remind me I AM patient. When I am anxious, give me peace that subdues the storms of life. When I feel sorrowful, give me joy overflowing. I choose to abide in You. Bring people into my life I can bless. Bring people to me who will help me grow.
Right now, I take authority over spirits of heaviness, lack and inadequacy in the mighty Name of Jesus. I decree their assignments on my life null and void by the power of His Name and through His shed blood. I decree I have the mind of Christ and do hold the thoughts, intents and purposes of His heart (1 Cor. 2:16). Teach me Your ways, Lord. I will walk in your precepts. Let Your Word be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Ps. 119:105). Hallelujah! Let it be so. Amen.