Daily D – John 15:16
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (NIV)
I moved up in status with American Airlines last month. This means I get to board the plane one group earlier than before. This means I get on the plane in time to place my carry-on bag in the overhead storage without fear of running out of room. This is the theory.
The reality turned out a bit different on my first trip with my new status. The Concierge Key and First Class and physically impaired boarded first, as usual. Then active-duty military members in uniform were invited to board. There were over thirty army soldiers traveling to Atlanta. Each one of them bore a backpack stuffed to the limit. You see where this is going.
It took a bit of wrangling to find space for my bag once I found my way to the Exit Row. This was a “completely full flight” as the flight attendants noted a couple of times over the speaker system. I felt sorry for those people in the boarding group after me where I used to hang out.
Don’t miss the message: My privileged status did not actually make much difference on this journey. There is a privileged status that does make a difference each and every day. Jesus tells his closest disciples about it here on the night of his betrayal. Jesus reminded them how he chose them and how he was appointing them to bear fruit that lasts.
Everything they prayed for in alignment and attunement with the spirit and nature of Jesus would receive an affirmative answer. The reason their prayers would be answered would not be because of who they were, but because of their relationship with Jesus.
This relationship was not a special status to cherish and own, but to extend to others. When Jesus chooses us, and he is the one who always initiates the relationship, he does so not to provide us with status to be attained and envied, but to bear the fruit of a changed life (Galatians 5:22, 23) leading to other changed lives.
When we pray for fruitful and effective lives honoring to God and blessing to others, the answer is Yes. Our privileged status is for the purpose of extending Jesus’ offer to everyone everywhere.
“Whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you” is a promise far too seldom claimed. It is either misapplied through seeking individual perquisites and privileges sometimes mislabeled as the favor of God, or it is ignored because a person is afraid of what Jesus wants for him or her. After all, who wants perfect peace and endless joy?
Go back to the dawn of time and the book of Genesis and consider how God blessed Adam and Eve and commissioned them to bless the world he gave them through fruitful and effective work in the garden he provided. Consider what God said to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. He blessed him to be a blessing. That sounds like what Jesus says here, doesn’t it?
Who will you bless today in Jesus’ name?
Take a look at the day ahead. Where are you bound? Who will you meet along the way? How will you bear the fruit of grace, mercy, and peace in every conversation? What other fruit (Galatians 5:22, 23) will you allow Jesus to produce in you to honor him and to serve others?
Let us prepare now in prayer. Let us pray in uncomfortable moments throughout the day. Life is better when we pray in alignment and attunement with the purpose and plan of Jesus. The world is a better place when we bear fruit that lasts.
I will pray for a fruitful and effective day.
Our Father, I am assigned to meet with dozens of men and women today. Empower me to live fruitfully and effectively in every consideration of my mind, in every word I speak, in every action I take. Bear your fruit through my life in whatever manner you see fit. I belong to you. Amen.
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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”