Bible Reading: John 15:1-27
Do you remember resumption days at the beginning of each new term in primary school, and the initial steam and determination to be a ‘proper child’ that you’d go to school with? Do you remember how you would want to write on the first page of your brand new exercise book and you would do it with all care and holy caution. You would almost say an opening prayer before writing the date. Each letter was neatly and carefully crafted.
Usually, for most of us, we would eventually at some point run out of ginger. The pages of the book are no longer as tidy. The passion and commitment to be neat has been overrun by the course of events.
Is that a primary school thing for you, or a picture of your life pursuits? Do you seem to run out of steam? If we’re honest, running out of steam is a strong human tendency and something that in some way or the other, we are all susceptible to.
But here’s the good news: God sees the journey of what He’s doing in your life beyond your tendency to peak or to tire out, beyond your tendency to be discouraged and overwhelmed, beyond your tendency to be exhausted and out of strength, beyond your tendency to be out of ideas of what to do again.
We started out this year with a precious promise from God about him working us into the new. How do you feel about that two months later? Do you feel like you’re running out of steam on it? Or do you feel like at some point, you will run out of steam?
Our reading today shows us how God sees and is committed to the sustainability of our journey in the new!
That’s really encouraging!
When we start to see the fruit of the new things God is doing, Jesus says that God doesn’t merely leave us to age out and peak away. He doesn’t leave us to run out of steam. He prunes us for a new level of fruitfulness.
…every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit John 15:2 NKJV
God doesn’t want us to become slaves of any level of success. He always wants to empower us for the next. He wants to constantly be inviting us to new vision. He wants to be strengthening us to take new grounds. He wants us to constantly live challenged and reaching out for new fruit.
As christians, we are not called to spend our lives trying to hold on to a level of fruitfulness. We are called to constantly bear ‘more fruit’.
I encourage you in meditation today to reflect on the constantness of Jesus’ promise, even in the midst of a world culture that suggests the opposite. We live in a world culture that suggests steam running out, discouragement, peaking, good-old-days syndrome, and so on.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing John 15:5 NKJV
As we keep our focus on Him and keep ourselves rooted in Him, we live in the constantness of the promise of bearing much fruit.
In fact, in our reading today, immediately after talking about bearing fruit, Jesus goes straight on to talk about the opposition and challenges that we face from the world for being Christians. Don’t think that He is not aware of this. Don’t think he is not aware of the natural tendency to burn out and lose ginger.
But He doesn’t end the narrative by talking about the world pressure. Instead He ends by channeling His disciples thoughts towards the Helper!
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me John 15:26 NKJV
Here’s how I would summarise all that Jesus is saying in today’s passage:
- Hey, disciples, stay with me and be bearing new fruit constantly, okay?
- Oh, opposition and difficult world system?
- Think The Helper, the Holy Spirit!
Friends, we are more than equipped to not only live in the steam of the new at the start of a year, but to constantly and increasingly bear more of the fruit of the new through all seasons!
Something To Pray
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:4 NKJV
Would you pray today that you will abide even stronger in Jesus through all seasons that are ahead of you.