He That Abideth in Me, and I in Him, the Same Bringeth Forth
Much Fruit--John 15:5
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Our Lord had spoken of fruit, more
fruit. He now adds the thought: much fruit. There is in the Vine
such fullness, the care of the divine Husbandman is so sure of
success, that the much fruit is not a demand, but the simple promise
of what must come to the branch that lives in the double abiding--he
in Christ, and Christ in him. "The same bringeth forth much
fruit." It is certain.
Have you ever noticed the difference
in the Christian life between work and fruit? A machine can do
work: only life can bear fruit. A law can compel work: only love
can spontaneously bring forth fruit. Work implies effort and labor:
the essential idea of fruit is that it is the silent natural restful
produce of our inner life. The gardener may labor to give his
apple tree the digging and manuring, the watering and the pruning
it needs; he can do nothing to produce the apple: "The fruit
of the Spirit is love, peace, joy." The healthy life bears
much fruit. The connection between work and fruit is perhaps best
seen in the expression, "fruitful in every good work."
(Col. 1:10). It is only when good works come as the fruit of the
indwelling Spirit that they are acceptable to God. Under the compulsion
of law and conscience, or the influence of inclination and zeal,
men may be most diligent in good works, and yet find that they
have but little spiritual result. There can be no reason but this--their
works are man's effort, instead of being the fruit of the Spirit,
the restful, natural outcome of the Spirit's operation within
Let all workers come and listen
to our holy Vine as He reveals the law of sure and abundant fruitfulness:
"He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth
much fruit." The gardener cares for one thing--the strength
and healthy life of his tree: the fruit follows of itself. If
you would bear fruit, see that the inner life is perfectly right,
that your relation to Christ Jesus is clear and close. Begin each
day with Him in the morning, to know in truth that you are abiding
in Him and He in you. Christ tells that nothing less will do.
It is not your willing and running, it is not by your might or
strength, but--"by my Spirit, saith the Lord." Meet
each new engagement, undertake every new work, with an ear and
heart open to the Master's voice: "He that abideth in me,
beareth much fruit." See you to the abiding; He will see
to the fruit, for He will give it in you and through you.
O my brother, it is Christ must
do all! The Vine provides the sap, and the life, and the strength:
the branch waits, and rests, and receives, and bears the fruit.
Oh, the blessedness of being only branches, through whom the Spirit
flows and brings God's life to men!
I pray you, take time and ask the
Holy Spirit to give you to realize the unspeakably solemn place
you occupy in the mind of God. He has planted you into His Son
with the calling and the power to bear much fruit. Accept
that place. Look much to God, and to Christ, and expect joyfully
to be what God has planned to make you, a fruitful branch.
Much fruit! So be it, blessed
Lord Jesus. It can be, for Thou art the Vine. It shall be, for
I am abiding in Thee. It must be, for Thy Father is the Husbandman
that cleanses the branch. Yea, much fruit, out of the abundance
of Thy grace.