"I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should abide" (John 15:16)
There are some fruits that will not keep. Certain kinds of pears or apples must be used at once. Others can be kept until next year. Likewise in Christian work, there is some fruit which does not last. There may be much that pleases and edifies, and yet, no permanent impression is made on the power of the world or the state of the Church.
On the other hand, there is work that leaves its mark for generations or for eternity. In it, the power of God makes itself lastingly felt. This is the fruit which Paul speaks of when he describes the two styles of ministry, "My preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). The more there is of human wisdom and power, the less there is of stability. The more there is of God's Spirit, the more there is of a faith standing in God's power.
Fruit reveals the nature of the tree from which it comes. What is the secret of bearing fruit that abides? The answer is simple. It is as our life abides in Christ - as we abide in Him - that the fruit we bear will abide. The more we allow human will and effort to be cut down and cleansed away by the divine Husbandman, the more intensely we withdraw from the outward world. Then, God may work in us by His Spirit. That is, the more wholly we abide in Christ, the more will our fruit abide.
What a blessed thought! He chose you, and ordained you to bear fruit, and your fruit should abide. He never meant for one of His branches to bring forth fruit that should not abide. The deeper I enter into the purpose of this His electing grace, the surer my confidence that I can bring forth fruit to eternal life - for myself and others. The deeper I enter into the purpose of His electing love, the more I will realize that abiding in Him is the link between the purpose from eternity, and the fruit to eternity. The purpose is His; He will carry it out. The fruit is His; He will bring it forth. The abiding is His; He will maintain it.
Let everyone who professes to be a Christian worker, pause. Ask whether you are leaving your mark for eternity on those around you. It is not your preaching or teaching, your strength of will or power to influence, that will secure this. All depends on having your life full of God and His power. And that depends on your truly living the branch-life of abiding - very close and unbroken fellowship with Christ. It is the branch which abides in Him that brings forth much fruit - fruit that will abide.
Blessed Lord, reveal to my soul that You have chosen me to bear much fruit. Let this be my confidence - that Your purpose can be realized - You did choose me. Let this be my power to forsake everything and give myself to You. You will perfect what You have begun. Draw me to so dwell in the love and the certainty of that eternal purpose that the power of eternity may possess me, and the fruit I bear may abide.
That ye may bear fruit. O my heavenly Vine, it is beginning to dawn on my soul that fruit, more fruit - much fruit - abiding fruit is the one thing You have to give me, and the one thing as a branch I have to give You. Here I am. Blessed Lord, work out Your purpose in me. Let me bear much fruit, abiding fruit, to your glory. Amen