It's January 16; Good Morning Union

"By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:8

I prove that I am a disciple, a follower of Jesus by what I do. It appears to be just that simple. I can come to Jesus just as I am and He will accept me, forgive me, love me unconditionally, AND he will change me. I may be able to COME just as I am, but I can’t STAY just as I am and be a follower of Jesus. That would be a follower of me! Jesus will change me and that change in my life is what I believe is the “fruit” that He is talking about.

I think one of the confusing things in Christianity, both for the person claiming that belief system and for the person observing from the outside, is NOT the fact that I am a sinner and make mistakes and mess up, but the fact that at times I consciously choose to say I am a believer and then live like I’m not. It’s not the mistakes that bother even unbelievers, it’s the intentional attempt by believers to claim one thing and then think they can do whatever they choose! I can be a believer and make mistakes. God has made provision for that through forgiveness and instruction through His word. But I CAN’T be a believer and think I can live like I want. It doesn’t work that way.

The “fruit” metaphor carries with it lots of meanings. The one I resonate with this morning is the fact that fruit grows naturally from a tree. I don’t have to do anything to get an apple tree to grow apples. I can take good care of the tree and help it grow MORE or better apples, but I can’t do anything to it that will cause it to grow bananas! If my apple tree has bananas growing on it then either I’m messing with your mind by trying to trick you into believing what you see, or you’re messing with my mind (because you probably came during the night and tied them on there!) Either way confusion reigns!

And I think that’s the way it is with Christianity too. If I claim to be a God-follower, a disciple of Jesus, then what naturally will come from my life will be “Jesus fruit” (see Galatians 5:22) If it’s not then someone is confusing someone! I’m not talking about mistakes, I’m talking about intentionality. What do I CHOOSE to do and to be with my life that I claim is following Jesus? According to my text, what I CHOOSE to look like does two things: It glorifies God and it proves that I am His follower. Choice matters!

Have a great day choosing well,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day: “May those who follow the Lord be enriched with His love! May those who don't follow God, be attracted to the light He shines through His followers and come and be embraced by His glory!”

PS “Jammin’ Jesus” is the name of the new Thursday night option for fellowship and worship. It’s starts at 9pm in the Rees Hall Chapel. Join Anna and friends for this new opportunity to grow with your Savior and your friends.