Are you floundering in life? Feel like you have no purpose?
Maybe it’s because you haven’t responded to the one who’s chosen you.
Listen to these words:
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.*
Jesus stands at the door and knocks. He may have done it through a church service or sermon. Maybe you heard him speaking during a time of tragedy or immense despair. Perhaps a friend or stranger shared the invitation with you. Whatever the case, there was an opportunity given to respond.
You heard something about God’s love for you and gift of salvation through Jesus and you had to decide whether you would accept it or not.
It is in that moment that Jesus is reaching out to you. He says, “Come follow me.
There is no chicken before the egg trick in the Gospel. God makes himself known to us; opens the way of salvation. He chooses to call us sons and daughters. He made the first move.
That’s what Jesus is telling his disciples here. You’re my friends, but don’t think too much of yourself because of that. I chose you not just to be buds, but for a purpose — to bear fruit.
Have you found yourself lately watching the news and throwing up your hands, saying, “What’s the use? Life is fruitless?” Then you’re not attached to the Vine — the True Vine — Jesus.
Those who know him, who remain in him find purpose in the midst of the chaos. Do you think we’re the only ones in the world who have ever suffered from diseases, political upheaval, and strife? Don’t kid yourself and forget where these guys were living when Jesus showed up. Rome, as in The Empire, where Christians would end up being burned as torches to light the streets at night. Who had more reason to throw up their hands? Let’s get over ourselves, please.
We’ve got a job to do. Bear fruit — fruit that lasts.
It doesn’t take a huge amount of effort. We read about this earlier in the chapter. All it requires is remaining in Him. He’ll take care of the rest.
When I lean in to Christ during a time of crisis, he reminds me to think of others. The first bit of business is to be active in loving our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. How’s that going for you, these days? Allowing quarantine and worry to make you forget others?
Either we have a purpose or we don’t, because either we live in the Vine or we don’t.
Check your branch to make sure you’re staying connected and being fed by the Source of all your strength and energy so that you can live a fruitful life to His glory. Hang in there and stay true to your purpose.
Grace and Peace
John 15:16-17 (NIV)