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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Zechariah 13:9 “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”
Zechariah 9:9, 10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ezra 3:12, 13 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”