A LIFE OF LASTING FRUIT

As a college student studying education, I spent my days discussing the most successful way to teach students. One truth remained constant: successful teaching is the result of strategic planning.

Backward Design is a method of planning in which you begin with the end. It made perfect sense to me that I had to know where I wanted to go before I could figure out how I was going to get there. This method of planning instilled within me the need to identify the desired results at the end of a process before trying to decide how to begin it.

As I was dreaming for this website, I asked Jesus what He most desired for our lives. What is the desired result of His working in the lives of his true disciples? That question led me to John 15.

I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last (John 15:16).

According to Jesus, the purpose of His work in our lives is to bear fruit. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He clarified that this is not merely a fruitfulness that is synonymous with human productivity. Instead, spiritual fruit is distinguished by one feature: it will last.

Spiritual fruit will last beyond the scope of time and space and into eternity because it is incorruptible. The only way that anything can continue into eternity is if it is void of the one thing that began and continues the decay of this world. Sin. Because spiritual fruit is without sin, it will never decay and will endure into eternity.

Jesus intentionally chose this metaphor of bearing fruit because fruit is the visible evidence that its tree is alive. Spiritual fruit is evidence of spiritual life, the divine nature that is at work and alive in us. If we are alive in Jesus, lasting fruit is the natural outgrowth in our lives.

Jesus’ true disciples will be ripe with His life, abundantly bearing the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control, all of which will last forever.

This is Jesus’ desired result of His work in us, that we would live of a life of lasting fruit.

In the same way that a teacher’s end result informs her planning, so God’s purpose informs his process. God’s purpose of producing lasting fruit shapes His sovereign plan for our lives.

Maybe it seems backward to begin our discussion of God’s process by placing the end result in clear view, but keeping the image of lasting fruit ever before us is the key to understanding God’s process in the here and now. Believing that He is always working toward lasting fruit is the beginning of our understanding how He is going to produce it.

Let’s be intentional about trusting His purpose this week, constantly speaking out our faith that God’s purpose is informing His current positioning of our lives. Wherever we are, whatever we are facing, and whatever we are doing is orchestrated by the hand of a sovereign God who desires to produce lasting fruit in the midst of it all.

God, I trust that You have positioned me in this moment for the purpose of bearing lasting fruit. Even though I may not understand how You could produce fruit from these circumstances, I will choose to believe that Your process is leading to my purpose. I will choose to trust that You are always working toward producing lasting fruit in me.