”By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8 ESV)
In the letter to Galatians (5:22) it says that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. With children’s wisdom we can say that good fruits are good things, and bad fruits are bad things.
Why did Jesus say that it’s important to bear a lot of fruit? Because we all bear fruit with our lives, some good, some bad. God’s will is that we would bear good fruit and that our lives would produce good things.
The letter to Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 10 (ESV) says: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
My daughter who had started school asked me: “Daddy, you have always told us about Jesus, but when did we start to believe ourselves?” The question amused me at first until it started to speak to me. It’s very important to tell about Jesus to children a lot because that talk starts to bear fruit at some point. It’s not easy to start doing good with your life meaning start bearing fruit. How do we glorify our Father’s name? To Jesus it meant death on the cross. At the cross He said: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23 ESV).
In order for you to start bearing fruit for your Father, you have to die to your selfish, fallen nature.
Jesus taught about it: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:23-24 ESV).
Jesus taught that a good tree gives good fruit, and a bad tree gives bad fruit (Matthew 7:17). He promised us that when we are in Him, we bear good fruit. And when we are away from Him, we are just a dry branch that is ready to be thrown away. Jesus also taught that through repentance we can have our tree, that is our life, become good again. In the midst of all our thinking it’s good to remember a merciful starting point for producing the fruit of the Spirit. It’s enough that we believe in Jesus. Jesus said also, that where He is, there His disciples are also. “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:26 ESV).
The question for us is: Where is Jesus today? Is He alongside of the one who is suffering? Is He lifting up those who have fallen to the ground? Yes, Jesus is with the sinners, helping them, calling them into salvation. But where are we, His disciples? Are we there, where Jesus is? Are we glorifying the Father’s name? Are we doing what He asked us to do? Are we proclaiming the gospel to the whole creation? Are we going in the ends of the world? Decide today to get rid of your selfish goals. Instead, make your goal to glorify the Father’s name. And start to live a life of a witness, which is full of love towards your neighbor, joy, peace and goodness of God.
Isn’t that exactly what you want? Your life is not going to be easy if you decide to live it for God. But it is the only life worth living. When it ends, you can say: “I have not been damaging, but building the kingdom of God.” The fruit that we bear for God in this life, comes with us to the glory of the heaven, to eternity. All the other things will disappear.