When you follow Jesus, you will have a desire to live a faithful life, one of holiness and righteousness and purity and spiritual focus. When you follow Jesus, you will also have a desire to live a fruitful life, one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith and self-control. And, you will have a desire to see your life impact others in a way that they become followers of Jesus too.
Jesus said it this way:
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.”
Five truths that we learn from these words of Jesus:
- If you are in Christ, he will produce spiritual fruit in your life (vv1-4).
- You can expect God to prune you so that you will be more fruitful (v2).
- If you produce no spiritual fruit, you must examine whether or not you are in Christ (vv2,6).
- The key to a fruitful life is remaining close to Jesus (vv4-7).
- Jesus is glorified when you produce much fruit (v8).
Jesus then continues:
9 “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 12 This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 17 This is what I command you: Love one another.”
Out of all of the great truths contained in these verses, let me make one observation:
- Three aspects of a fruitful life are love, joy and obedience to Jesus (vv9-17).
So the question for each of us is this: are we staying close to Jesus, allowing his Holy Spirit to produce spiritual fruit in our life? And are we humbly and gladly allowing this fruit to be seen through our life, pointing other people to Jesus? The longer we walk with Jesus, the more we should look like him. Our character should become more and more like his.