June 19, 2010

The Fruit of Grace

John 15:1-17

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit.”
John 15:8


Jesus said, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” Are we bearing fruit? If our Lord’s Spirit is working in us, we may humbly say, “Yes, we are bearing fruit.” Are we sinfully proud to say that? Absolutely not.

First, we are not saying we are producing fruit. We are bearing fruit—and there is a great difference. Grapevines simply remain in the soil, gathering nutrients. They stand silently soaking up sun. They are pruned, nourished, sprayed, and in some cases, prayed over by owners afraid of frost or blight. And the fruit comes. We are simply like a grapevine. In fact, we’re not even the vine, we’re only the branches!

Second, we can’t take any credit for bearing fruit. Jesus chose us and appointed us to bear fruit. And no branch can produce fruit on its own. It depends on the vine for its very life. No pride allowed there.

Third, if we say we’re not bearing fruit, we may think that sounds humble, but to God it is insulting. We degrade his patient work if we say he has produced no fruit on our branch. If God is at work in us, it’s impossible for us not to bear fruit. And with eyes of faith we can see what God is doing. The Spirit of God is transforming us gradually to be like Jesus. And “this is to [our] Father’s glory, that [we] bear much fruit.”

God of abounding grace, we give humble thanks today for the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit in our lives. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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