Every homeowner spends time making her house uniquely suit her own taste, and the church (God’s house!) is no different…except that God’s house is a community of people. So the unique decorations God wants in his house, then, are qualities that grow in our lives as spiritual fruit. How do we make sure our lives are a welcome home for the Lord? Find out in this message on John 15!
1. It’s all about the fruit.
- You know if someone is a disciple of Jesus if their lives bear good fruit. The apostle Paul builds on this idea in Galatians 5 when he talks about the Fruit of the Spirit. We know that we are letting Jesus do his good work in our lives when we live lives characterized by love, joy, and peace.
- Everyone’s life bears fruit, even those who don’t know Jesus. But much of that fruit is temporary. For our lives to bear fruit that glorifies the Father, fruit that carries into eternity, we have to be in Christ.
Spend some time in prayer, asking the Spirit to help you see with his vision. What kind of fruit is your life bearing?
2. It’s all about abiding.
1 John 2:5-6
- Jesus’ teaching on abiding is scientifically sound: a branch can’t bear fruit unless it’s connected to the rest of the tree, on down to the roots that bring nourishment. The depth of a root system determines how much nourishment can be supplied to a tree, and the deeper our walk with Christ goes, the more fruit we bear.
- When we hear the word “abiding” we might think of it as an unattainable spiritual practice, but it’s a simple process. The key to abiding in Jesus is walking through our life circumstances in the way Jesus would.
Reflect on your life. Is there any way you’re walking that doesn’t line up with how Jesus would? How can you more effectively align your life with his and abide in Jesus more deeply?
3. It’s all about discipleship.
- To be a disciple of Jesus simply means to follow him in all things: to obey his teaching and pursue his heart, in community with other disciples of Jesus. That’s what the earliest disciples did throughout the gospels, and it’s what you and I are called to do today, two-thousand years later.
- When we abide in Jesus, his words abide in our hearts, and the Lord gives us a crazy promise: if we ask anything in his name, he will give it to us! That doesn’t mean he necessarily gives us whatever we want. But if we’re abiding in him, he transforms us, and our desires naturally conform to his will.
- When we pray in accordance with God’s will, God does it because nothing is too hard for him. Part of prayer is knowing the character of God. If we know him well, we will ask him to do what he already wants to do in the world around us. Prayer is one of the best ways for us to join Jesus on his mission.
On a practical level, how are you pursuing the heart of Jesus? Do you have a community you’re doing that alongside? If not, what do you need to do to involve yourself in a Christian community?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?