Thursday, May 23, 2019 -
Jesus made it very clear in the first few verses of John 15 that we are to abide in Him. He uses the example of a vine, that if our lives do not bear fruit, He will prune us, cut us off. Yet He expects us to bear much fruit (v. 5). But the key to bearing fruit is in our abiding in Him and He abiding in us. He says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus goes on to say that unless we bear fruit, our lives are useless, and we will be cut off and thrown into the fire! This is a somber warning, indeed!
So our victory and the fruit that our lives bear comes only from Christ. What we do on our own, or apart from Him, is for naught. Here, once again, love is the key. Jesus says, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in His love.” Jesus here is comparing our relationship with Christ, as one of love, to that of the relationship between Him and God! Wow!
Yet in verse seven, He gives us an added clue as to us abiding in Him, “If you abide in Me, and My words in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” In other words, the Word of God needs to become an integral part of our very being.
And the end result of this unique relationship goes beyond us bearing fruit: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full!” (v. 11) So if we are to have a victorious, joyful, productive and fruitful life, we need to soak in God’s Word, give Christ complete control and authority over our lives, recognize our own helplessness, and pray for the fruit of the Spirit, which Galatians 5 tells us are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If these attributes, or fruit, are evident in our lives, others will see our transformed life and will seek to become like us. Just as Christ exemplified God Himself, so our lives will exemplify Christ.
I tried to make this clear to one man who lives in the cell next to me. He told me then, for the second or third time, that he was a Christian. And so, yesterday, I pressed him a little more, about what that means. He said, “I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.” I asked, “And have you made Him Lord of your life?” He said, “Yes, I made Him my Savior and Lord of my life.” Yet, like most here, I see no fruit in his life. I hear his foul speech. I see his actions and observe his relationships. I told him being a Christian means that Christ transforms and changes these things. He must, like all of us, become a new creature and bear witness (fruit) for Christ. Pray for “S,” that he might indeed abide in Christ, and that Christ might abide in him. I must be careful not to judge harshly, and I know not how much he has already been transformed from what he used to be. But I do pray that the work of the Holy Spirit might be made complete in him! He has not been in prison a very long time and came here from a medium level prison, and possibly even was in a penitentiary.
Thank you once again for your prayers on my behalf!