“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.”
The Anticipation of Growth
Remember in elementary school when you would take your milk carton, fill it with dirt, put a seed—probably a bean—in it, water it, and then wait for it to grow? What anticipation and excitement we’d feel when that little pod finally broke the surface of the dirt, showing its head and continuing to grow.
Like the persevering little seed, we learn that when it comes to trusting Jesus, we must remain and have it made.
Bearing and Sharing Our Fruit
We are like those little seeds when we become Christians. If we want to grow, develop, and become mature as useful citizens in the kingdom of God, we must study the Bible, listen to teachers and preachers who are trained to help us, and begin sharing our experience and knowledge with friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.
Christianity isn’t a gift we tuck under our pillow and keep to ourselves; it is to be shared with others around us so that they may know Christ’s love. In other words, we are told in this verse to bear fruit.
Why We Remain in Christ
What kind of fruit is John talking about? Many people think that he is referring to one’s personal evangelism, such as how many people we have shared the gospel with. But fruit for the Christian is still so much more than simple evangelism, as important as that is. John is also speaking of the kind of fruit that characterizes the Christian life. He tells us what it means to remain and have it made.
This fruit can be found in Paul’s writing in Galatians 5:22-23. We know these as the fruits of the Spirit. Kindness, thoughtfulness, and contentment in daily life and in work situations certainly show ripe fruit. Other fruits Christians must display are love, joy, and a sense of peace. Notice how this verse also tells us that no one is counting how much fruit we are producing. Rather, if we are saved, we should simply long to be producing fruit as Christ has called us to do.
Think about how disappointed would you have been if your milk carton seed had not grown all those years ago. What would you have wanted to do in that case? Consider Christ’s joy in seeing the fruits we produce just from simply abiding in Him. Reflect on your own motivation for bearing fruit and thank Him for empowering you to live a life that is able to remain in Him.