Bible Society of South Africa

A fruitful life to honour him! – 12 April 2023

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

5“I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me. 6Whoever does not remain in me is thrown out like a branch and dries up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burnt. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it. 8My Father's glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples.

John 15:5-8GNBOpen in Bible reader

One of the most important questions the disciples ever asked Jesus was: what does God want from us? Verse 8 gives one of the best answers: the Father desires that we bear much fruit and that we follow Jesus as his disciples. Disciples are people who dedicate their lives to follow Jesus in all aspects of their lives. He is Lord over every piece of our lives and we desire to honour him in all we do, say and think.

In verse 5, we find the key needed to unlock this new life. We are called to remain in Christ. We put our trust in him as our Saviour and Lord. In our relationship with him, he enables us to bear the fruit that God wants.

We are not able to produce spiritual fruit in our lives by ourselves. It only grows by knowing and trusting Christ. In this relationship, we are not expected to produce the fruit by ourselves. God really wants to help us reach our goal! He has given us the powerful tool of prayer. When we are following in Jesus’ footsteps as his disciples, he knows what we need even before we ask it. But still, we are commanded to bring our needs to him in prayer.

Verse 7 is one of the most misused verses in the Bible. We are not given a blank cheque to order everything we desire. This is not giving a reason to believe the “aim it and claim it” movement, which some people want in their prayer life. There are terms and conditions applicable. The terms: seek first the kingdom of God, remain in the words of Jesus. Your focus should be to obey God and to do what he wants. The promise: if you ask anything needed to build God’s kingdom, and to honour him, he will answer that prayer. He will give you what you need to be successful in your life’s mission. The vine (God) gives what the branch needs to produce much fruit.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in you I have found life. Help me to remain in you, so that I may live to your honour and bear the fruit that you want to see in my life. I want to be a trustworthy disciple following in your footsteps, wherever you may lead me. Amen

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