(A bit lengthy but vital.)
By Andrew Murray Edited by Gary Amirault
"Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear MUCH FRUIT: so shall you be my disciples." John 15:8
So then, are those who do NOT bear much fruit still disciples? It may be that they are just in an immature stage. Of those who bear MUCH FRUIT, Christ says, "These are My disciples, such as I would have them be--these are TRUE disciples." Just as we say of someone in whom the idea of manliness is realized, "That is a man!" so our Lord tells who are disciples after His heart and worthy of the man--that is, those who bear much fruit. The Gospel does seem to contain this double sense of the word disciple. Sometimes it is applied to all who accepted Christ's teaching. At other times it refers only to that inner circle of those who followed Christ wholly and gave themselves to His training for service. This difference has existed throughout all the ages. There have always been a smaller number of God's people who have sought to serve Him with their whole heart--the majority have usually been content with a smaller measure of the knowledge of His grace and will.
What is the difference between this smaller inner circle and the many who do not seek entrance to it? We find it in the words, "much fruit." With many Christians, the concerns for their own lives seem to remain the primary aim of their religion. The idea of service and fruit is always secondary and very subordinate. There is no real honest longing for "much fruit." Souls that have heard the call to live completely for their Lord--to give their lives for Him as He gave His for them, can never be satisfied with this. Their desire is to bear as much fruit as they can--as much as their Lord desires and the Holy Spirit wants to produce in them.
"Bear much fruit: so shall ye be My disciples." Allow me to ask the reader to consider these words very carefully. Don't be content with the thought of doing a little more or better work. It may never come that way. Take the words "much fruit" as the revelation of what you can really be--who you really are! Accept fully that it is impossible for you to attempt to be "much fruit" in your own strength-in your own efforts. Let those words cause you to look afresh at the Vine--see it as allowing the heavenly fullness to live THROUGH you. Let those words awaken in you once again the faith and confession: "I AM a branch of the true Vine; I can bear much fruit to His glory, and that of the Father."
We don't need to judge one another. Nevertheless, there are two classes of disciples. Don't hesitate to find your place. Let us ask Him to reveal to us how He asks and claims a life fully given up to Him--to be as full of His Spirit as HE can make us. Let our desire be nothing less than perfect cleansing, unbroken abiding, closest communion, abundant fruitfulness--true branches of the true Vine.
Christ is grieving on account of the lack of wholehearted Christians bearing much fruit. Though you may not understand what it all means or how it will come about, tell Him that you ARE His branch that WILL bear MUCH FRUIT, ready to be His disciple in the fullest sense of the word.
"My disciples." Blessed Lord Jesus, MUCH FRUIT is the proof that You, the true Vine has in me a true branch-a disciple fully at Your disposal. Give me, I pray, the childlike consciousness that my fruit IS pleasing to You--what you count as--MUCH FRUIT. ---------------------------------------------------------- "The Call of the Barnyard" (Author Unknown)
A flock of wild ducks were flying in formation, heading south for the Winter. They formed a beautiful "V" in the sky, and were admired by everyone who saw them from below.
One day, Wally, one of the wild ducks in the formation, spotted something on the ground that caught his eye. It was a barnyard with a flock of tame ducks who lived on the farm. They were waddling around on the ground, quacking merrily and eating corn that was thrown on the ground for them every day.
Wally liked what he saw. "It sure would be nice to have some of that corn," he thought to himself. "And all this flying is very tiring. I'd like to just waddle around for a while." So after thinking it over a while, Wally left the formation of wild ducks, made a sharp dive to the left, and headed for the barnyard.
He landed among the tame ducks, and began to waddle around and quack merrily. He also started eating corn. The formation of wild ducks continued their journey south, but Wally didn't care. I'll rejoin them when they come back this way in a few months, he said to himself.
Several months went by and sure enough, Wally looked up and spotted the flock of wild ducks in formation, heading north. They looked beautiful up there. And Wally was tired of the barnyard.
It was muddy and everywhere he waddled, nothing but duck-doo. "It's time to leave," said Wally. So Wally flapped his wings furiously and tried to get airborne. But he had gained some weight from all his corn eating, and he hadn't exercised his wings much either.
He finally got off the ground, but he was flying too low and slammed into the side of the barn. He fell to the ground with a thud and said to himself, "Oh well, I'll just wait until they fly South in a few months. Then I'll rejoin them and become a wild duck again."
But when the flock flew overhead once more, Wally again tried to lift himself out of the barn yard. He simply didn't have the strength. Every Winter and every Spring, he saw his wild duck friends flying over head, and they would call out to him. But his attempts to leave were all in vain.
Eventually Wally no longer paid any attention to the wild ducks flying overhead. He hardly even noticed them. He had after all, become a barnyard duck.
Sometimes we get tired of being wild ducks . . . followers of Jesus Christ. It's not always easy to be obedient to God and to discipline ourselves to hang in there for the long haul. When we are feeling that way, that's when Satan tempts us to "fall out of formation" and to join the barnyard ducks . . . the world . . .
But see what happened to Wally. He thought he would just "check it out" for a while and then leave when he wanted to. But he couldn't do it. Sin is like that. Sin is a trap, and it has a way of changing us into people we don't even want to become.
Eventually, we lose touch with whom we really are . . . the sons and daughters of The Most High; we become barnyard ducks. ------------------------- "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." John 15:7, 8
Remember, God does NOT make branches of no or little fruit. And neither can a person make themselves a fruitful branch. Through self-effort one can only produce the fruit of religious pride--self-righteousness. God made us to be fruitFUL branches. That's a heavenly fact. Believe it, stand on that fact. Keep it ever before you. Abide in that promise, that word. Yield your members to that promise and He shall fulfill it...and cause you to bear MUCH FRUIT. The key to bearing much fruit is to be humble enough to know that apart from them we can truly do nothing for the kingdom of God. And don't FEIGN humility--it won't work! Faith and trust in THEIR words, their promises, their power is what will bring MUCH FRUIT. Having faith in THEIR words, their promises to us IS abiding in them. Abide in THEIR Words of promise to us...have faith...and you will bear MUCH FRUIT and be TRUE DISCIPLES. Gary Amirault
"If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." John 8:31 BELIEVE!!