A Fruit That Shines

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“Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples.”  John 15:8Image

“Herein is My Father glorified.”  And “herein” is quite a rich word here.  “Herein”, “a position or relation of rest in this person or thing” means everything.  Who is my position or relation of rest in?  Is it in You and You alone?  Or is it in someone or something else?  Because Your point is that I need to abide in You.  My position or rest, my relation of rest must be in the Person of You.  If I am anywhere and doing anything at any time, I must be in You and You must be in me.  Then and only then will I bear fruit.  Then and only then will I not only bear fruit, but bear much fruit.  Then and only then will I glorify You.  And then and only then will I be Your disciple.  I must be placed in You, set in You, resting in You.

In You and You alone is our Father glorified.  “Glorified”, “doxazo”, “means to render glorious, to cause to have splendid greatness, to clothe in splendor, to invest with dignity, to give anyone esteem or honor by putting him into an honorable position.” But this is the amazing thing, as I esteem You and place You in an honorable position in my life and before others, You place me in an honorable position in You and before others.  This is how You are glorified.  Romans 8:30 says, ” And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.”

Now, I need to stop and take that in.  Before time began, Lord, this was a done deal.   This “speaks of God Who sees the end from the beginning and in whose decree and purpose all future events are comprehended and fixed.  Once God’s marvelous sequence begins with His foreknowledge of those He would call, it is carried through so inevitably that Paul in this verse speaks of us as ‘glorified’ in the past tense. It is already an accomplished fact in the mind and purpose of God. Note that those who were foreknown will all be glorified without loss of a single one.”  (Precept Austin)  “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)  I must clothe myself humbly in You and You will clothe me.

So, as I esteem You as over everything and in everything and through everything in my life, as I place myself in dependence upon You for everything good in me, I will bear much fruit.  So, now my question is, “What fruit?”  What will my life become like if I place myself in You?  If You become Everything and Everyone I depend upon, what will that produce in me?  How will I make much of You in my life and before others?  How will I make You shine?

“That you bear much fruit.”  Here’s the purpose, the intent for me.  I was created to bear fruit.  And I was created to bear much fruit, not some and not a little.  You are glorified, You are made much of, when I bear much fruit, because You are much of a God!

And I’m going to remind myself the importance of the bearing, because this is all dependent on my position in You.  This bearing, “phero”  means to bring forth, to bear or carry.  This is when I let the Vine do what the Vine does, when I let the Vine be who the Vine is, and when I let the Vinedresser have His way in me.  This is when I let the Holy Spirit carry me along like a ship lets the wind carry it.  This is when I let the Holy Spirit do the work and guide and empower me.  I’m not in charge.  You are.  This is when I am continually in the middle of Your “wind” allowing You to carry me and bear me along.  Then Your power is made known.

So, I am to bring forth, produce, from You and my position in You, from Your resources, “much fruit.”  Much doesn’t just mean a lot.  It can mean “great” fruit.  Listen to Matthew 5:10-12.  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (Hey, that means for Your sake, in You!), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (they belong to You, they are Your children, they are Your posession!).  Blessed are you (that’s me!) when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account (that’s becaue I’m responding in You and they see You!).  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…”  Wonderful thing is, You tell me I’m partly already there.  My great reward, my much fruit has already begun and it will get better!

Listen to Paul.  Your love for us, Your sacrifice for us, Your righteousness “made us alive together with [You]- by grace [we] have been saved- and raised up with [You] and seated  [with You] in the heavenly places in [You], so that [for this purpose] in the coming ages [You] might show the immeasurable riches of [Your] grace in kindness toward us in [Yourself].”  This is exactly what You are doing when You make us bear great fruit we couldn’t ever bear on our own.  And this great reward is coming forth, beginning to bloom in us, in me, now in You.  This is my purpose and always has been, to show Your immeasurable riches and kindness. and grace.

And this fruit goes deeper than doing good deeds.  The good deeds grow out of the fruits but they are not the fruit.  Anyone can do good deeds, with or without You.  But it’s the character, the power that produces those good deeds.  It’s the heart that they come from and it must come from Your heart or it really isn’t good at all.  Because only God is good.

The fruit has to come from You.  It has to originate from within the Vine.  Then it has to course through the branch and produce that which comes from it.  When it comes forth as fruit it looks like repentance. It looks like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control, and righteousness.  But it looks like the way You, Jesus, displayed these fruits, not the way we naturally do.  Love was willing to sacrifice for the good of others even when they didn’t care about Your good.  Joy was blooming even though there was a time of great pain and loss.  Peace was present in the midst of the greatest trials and heartaches.  You were patient when no one deserved Your patience.  You were kind to those who were unkind to You.  You were always good no matter what.  You were always faithful even if those You were faithful to were unfaithful.  You were gentle no matter how ungloriously You were treated.  You exerted self-control beyond imagination or we would not be here today.  And righteousness, well, it’s who You are and what You are.  It’s every fruit wrapped up in One Person.

And this One Person, You, wants to take this whole package of fruits from You, and place them in me.  And You want these fruits to flow from me.  And then people won’t see me any more.  They’ll see You.  They’ll see what You can do in a flawed life.  They’ll see how You can make it beautiful and make it shine like You in a dark world.  These are great things.  You are a Great God.  This is how I allow You to make much of Yourself in me.  I abide in You and let You abide in me and You bear Your great fruit through me.

Lord, I want You to bear great fruit and much fruit through me.  I want to live for the benefit of others.  I want to live to make much of You, to make You great.  Keep me from doing or saying anything or acting any way that would hinder Your glory shining forth from me.  Bear Your fruit in and through me.  Let me be continually conscientious of You and what comes out of me.  Let me live by Your Spirit.  Be the wind in my sails.  Let me cut off my engines and let You be my engine.  I am absolutely nothing without You.  Without You, outside of You, I can do nothing, I can give nothing, I am nothing.  But in You, You are my Everything and I have Everything I need to be and do what You purposed for me.  Be glorified in me and me in You, that’s how a reflection works.  The light shines on both.

 

 

 

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