You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. (JOHN 15:16, nasb)
I’m grateful to God for the progressions He gives us in Scripture; there are many of them. One of the foremost is the pathway to JOY, and it is well-marked for us and laid out in John’s Gospel. Jesus, speaking to His disciples, hours before His arrest and crucifixion, taught them to do these things, and assured them of resultant joy. He said:
- Abide in Me and My words in You
- In order to abide, to rest and remain in Me, keep my commandments.
- Remember that you aren’t obeying as slaves but as friends; you will be doing what I do in relation to the Father; I always obey Him.
- Now … here is the commandment! Love one another! See, my commandments aren’t grievous!
- The way to be sure you are loving as I have loved you is to make certain you are laying your lives down for one another. Keep this in mind … I, your Lord, washed your feet, and I want you to do the same for each other. It is enough for the servant to be like his Master.
- It is to your great benefit that I leave you in order to send the Holy Spirit to you … that’s how I can live in you, more than just with you, and you can live in me, always in my love, my own meekness, and even my own faith.
- When you get hold of these things and do them, living as I have lived before our Father … yes, yours and Mine … you will have joy that cannot be taken from you.
- The Father will have joy, too, because His desire is to see you bear fruit, and fruit that remains. That is important to Him.
- One more thing … call to mind that you didn’t choose to come to me, and you couldn’t have appointed yourself. I chose you! I chose you and appointed you to bear good fruit, and now you know how to do it. Now we will be one in the Father, and now you can see what the Father has planned from the beginning!
It does make perfect sense. There is a progression to nearly everything in this life, from the way real fruit forms to the way marzipan fruits are fashioned at Christmas, from the way we learn to ride a bike to the way we fall in love … there is always a progression. As we light our Advent Candle tonight, we might pray and ask to be faithful in this trek toward the joys that cannot be diminished in Christ Jesus, our Soon Coming King.
Dani Lurie, Wikipedia, by permission