“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5
Jesus famous words to His disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches” is a reference that is rich with meaning. Jesus presents Himself as the necessary source of our spiritual nourishment, strength, and vitality, while declaring our complete dependence on Him. What kind of fruit do you think God wants to see in our lives? While this may not be an exhaustive list, I see the following fruits in scripture as the kind of outcome God would like to see in our lives.
The Fruit of Repentance- Matthew 3:8. God loves us like a parent who loves their child enough to tell them not to touch the hot stove. God knows what kinds of behaviors lead to our destruction and so He tells us to turn away from sin. When we are headed in the wrong direction, God offers us the opportunity to turn from sin (repent) and come running back to Him.
The Fruit of Thankfulness- Colossians 3:16. We have a tendency to forget that God blesses us with innumerable gifts every day. As He works in our hearts, one of the results we see is a renewed sense of thankfulness.
The Fruit of the Spirit- Galatians 5:22. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, meekness, and self-control.
The Fruit of Good Works- Ephesians 2:10 God has a design in mind for each of His children- a set of adventures and “good works” for us to enjoy and undertake. In essence they all involve a change in the “centered-ness” of our lives. Instead of being focused on ourselves, we become more focused on others, and ultimately more focused on Him.
The Fruit of Righteousness- Romans 3:21-25 Seeing the holiness of God in scripture changes our self-defined understanding of what is right and what is wrong. God sets the standard of righteousness, and if we are in Christ Jesus as the Bible says, He looks at us and sees the righteousness of His son instead of our sinful past.
Now for the big question, “Are you bearing fruit for God?”