The Call to Bear Fruit

Don’t Miss Your Appointment!

Jesus said, “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.” John 15:16

Jesus’ words to His disciples in the Upper Room remind me of  a poem written by missionary C. T. Studd: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past / Only what’s done for Christ will last.”apples

Many people have done good things, but how long did the fruit of their labor last after they died? They might have been very busy, but were they doing what God had appointed for them to do?

As Jesus gave final instructions to His disciples, He said He had chosen them. They had spent time with the Master, witnessed His miracles, and heard His teachings. Soon He would be gone. They would pray and see miracles happening around them; they would teach and see God at work changing hearts. Jesus told them the Holy Spirit would come and live in them and remind them of what He had said (John 14:16-17).

Then Jesus said something astonishing: It would be better if He went away, for if He didn’t go away, the Comforter wouldn’t come. But if He departed, He would send the Comforter to them (John 16:7).

Some versions say, “It is better” in verse 7; some use the word expedient. How could it be better for Jesus to be absent? How could that be “expedient”? The Greek word in John 16:7 is sympherō and means “to bring together at the same time, or to help, to be profitable.”* It begins with the same prefix as symphony, which means “to bring together sounds harmoniously.” Picture a symphonic orchestra full of trumpets, only trumpets. The beautiful harmony of an orchestra comes from each instrument playing the part they’ve been appointed.

The word appoint can mean “ordain.” We might think of priests, ministers, or rabbis, who are ordained to work full time for God. But Jesus was sending out ordinary men—including fishermen and a tax collector. Not one of them was a learned scribe or respected ruler of the synagogue (Acts 4:1-16). Each disciple would play a different part in building the Church.

Do you know what God has appointed for you so you can bear lasting fruit for Him? If not, ask in Jesus’ name, and the Father will show you.

DIG DEEPER:

Compare the appointments given to the following: Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, Moses in Exodus 3:1-10, Isaiah in Isaiah 6:8-11, and Paul in Acts 9:1-15. How were they different? What lasting fruit did each one bear?

Read Psalm 1:1-3 and Psalm 92:12-15. How did the blessed ones become fruitful? How can you be more fruitful in your appointed walk with God?

See also the devotion on Mark 11 under Dig into a Book of the Bible, The Book of Mark.

Nancy J. Baker

Note: This devotion is part of an Easter Series: The Upper Room Teachings under Dig into Easter.

*”G4851 – sympherō (KJV) :: Strong’s Greek Lexicon.” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 17 Mar, 2016. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4851&t=KJV

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