Love One Another part 5


You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide... (John 15:16) 

Do you crave the friendship of famous people? How often do you find yourself name dropping; using your association with some important person to exult yourself in the eyes of others? Friendships can be sources of great pride. In the previous devotion you learnt that you are a friend of Jesus. This is a great privilege, but how easy it could be for you to pervert your friendship into a source of pride. 

With these words in verse 16, Jesus means to strike a humbling blow to your pride. This is even more emphatic in the Greek. ‘You did not choose me, but I chose you.’ You are not Jesus’ friends because of anything you have done. Your friendship is not a mark of your worth or goodness or importance or initiative, but of His grace and mercy.

Now why does Jesus take a hammer to our pride in the midst of trying to encourage us to love one another? The answer isn’t hard to imagine. Pride is the enemy of love. Pride doesn’t serve; it demands that I be served. Pride doesn’t look to the needs of others; it demands that my needs be met. Pride doesn’t love; it demands that I be loved. Humility is necessary for love.

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Election doesn’t end in friendship, it also entails service. His choice of you is accompanied with His appointment. 'And appointed you that you should go and bear fruit.'

Appointment means purpose. In the context of this passage, the fruit in view can be nothing other than the fruit of love. It is your purpose as a Christian to love others. This is what you have been chosen for. This is what you have been saved for. This is what God has designed your life for. This is what God is at work in your life for.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

Your purpose is not to live for yourself. The world organizes its life around self-centered purposes. But Jesus has chosen you out of the world (John 15:19) to reorient your purposes. Your God-given purpose is to go (this word indicates initiative, effort, intentionality) and bear the fruit of loving others. This is the fruit that will have remaining effects for all eternity.

Perhaps you are wondering, “Isn’t my purpose to glorify God?” Glance back to verse 8.

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8)

Loving others and glorifying God are not mutually exclusive purposes. One of the ways you glorify God is by bearing the fruit of love.

Do you ever struggle with questions about God’s will for your life? Should I take this job? Should I go to this place? Should I marry this person? This passage gives us criteria to help assess such questions. Is it the way of love? Will it help me to be a more loving person? Is it merely out of self-interest that I am considering it?

Jesus has given you a great purpose. How does your life at present reflect this great appointment? Remember that fulfillment will only come when the purposed fruit of love blossoms.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”

Part 6

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