In John 15, Jesus offers a snapshot of the life he envisions for us. If you’d like, take a quick minute and read John 15:1-17.
As he did in Luke 19 & throughout his ministry, Jesus insists that the way we live matters greatly. Whether it’s doing “the king’s business” (Luke 19) or “bearing fruit” (John 15), God’s intention for each of us is to impact the lives of those around us (15:2). This is not a high calling for a select few. This is God’s purpose for all followers of Jesus Christ. From his perspective, it’s the impact of our lives (not our beliefs or affections) by which we set ourselves apart as disciples of Jesus Christ (15:8).
In John 15, Jesus adds another critical element to remember as we move forward:
Living well before Jesus is not something we accomplish in our own strength and wisdom. We only “bear fruit” to the degree we learn to abide in Jesus. Then, like branches of a vine, we do what comes naturally. We bear fruit.
So living well isn’t just about meeting our quota of good deeds. It’s about living a different kind of life in which Jesus has become our source & identity. The impact of our lives is then natural to the kind of people we have become.
This is the challenge before us: to learn a way of life in which we’re abiding in Jesus Christ at every moment. Just as it did for the first disciples, it will take commitment and hard work. It’s a process of learning and growing to see things the way Jesus did. To sacrifice for something greater than ourselves. To live for God’s purposes. Along the way, we’ll become the kind of people for whom this all comes more and more naturally.
Such a life requires intentionality. Living well means living outside the status quo. It means discovering and new mindset and new lifestyle. It means embracing Jesus as our King here & now so that when he returns, we’ll find ourselves quite at home as we transition into his eternal kingdom.
(Excerpt from Reimagining Discipleship)
- How does your daily schedule work for/against you abiding in Jesus and being present to him throughout your day?
- What changes could you experiment with in your daily life to create time and space to practice being present to Jesus?