Bearing Much Fruit

March 27, 2017

During the worship service yesterday, we looked at John 15. We can particularly see in this passage that Jesus says to his followers: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NIV 2011). The call to us is to make sure we are remaining in Jesus—to keep the quality of our connection strong. The promise is that when we remain in him, we will bear “much fruit.” This is the standard for the Christian life, that we are bearing fruit on behalf of God’s Kingdom.

 

I ended the sermon yesterday with part of a poem by the missionary C.T. Studd. Studd’s whole life is fascinating and worth reading about. He was a British missionary who served on several mission fields. Though he came from a wealthy family and received quite a large inheritance, he donated it all to be used for the work of ministry. You can read more about him here. His life is quite an inspiration, and his poem, “Only One Life,” encourages us to think carefully about those things that are most important. Here it is:

 

Only One Life

By C.T. Studd

 

Two little lines I heard one day,

Traveling along life’s busy way;

Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, yes only one,

Soon will its fleeting hours be done;

Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,

And stand before His Judgement seat;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, the still small voice,

Gently pleads for a better choice

Bidding me selfish aims to leave,

And to God’s holy will to cleave;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, a few brief years,

Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;

Each with its clays I must fulfill,

living for self or in His will;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

When this bright world would tempt me sore,

When Satan would a victory score;

When self would seek to have its way,

Then help me Lord with joy to say;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Give me Father, a purpose deep,

In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;

Faithful and true what e’er the strife,

Pleasing Thee in my daily life;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Oh let my love with fervor burn,

And from the world now let me turn;

Living for Thee, and Thee alone,

Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, yes only one,

Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;

And when at last I’ll hear the call,

I know I’ll say “‘twas worth it all”;

Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

God has gifted us all in different ways. The fruit we can bear for the Kingdom is different as well. What is common to us all, however, is that we are called to bear much fruit. I hope we spend some time this week thinking about what we can do to have a positive impact for the Kingdom in the world around us.

 

God bless,
Brian

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