I rembered reading a sermon from a minister by the name of Glen Bloomstrom, Jr entitled: I Chose You To Bear Fruit and This encert made the scripture plain to me
Turn it around. What if Jesus had said, "I did not choose you; you chose me?" What would most likely be the point of saying that? Wouldn't it mean, "I'm not bound to you. You wanted to come along. If the going gets rough, don't come whimpering to me. It's your choice, man. I didn't stake anything on your success." But Jesus said the opposite: "You did not choose me, but I chose you." And so the meaning probably is: "Your presence here is my doing and so I take full responsibility. I know you agreed to join me in this work, but deep in your heart you know it was I who laid claim on you and so my honor, not yours, is at stake in this work." If that is what Jesus means, then the reason he said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you, was to encourage us that he would help us. If his honor is at stake in our success because he chose us for the work, then we can be sure he will exert all his power to make us fruitful. Jesus will not lightly let his wisdom be scorned. Therefore, he will not look lightly on our cry for help, when we say, "Lord you chose me! You are not fickle. You are not shortsighted. You are not impulsive. Your choices have the weight of eternity in them. You will not let your chosen one be ruined. Help me, Lord." Such a plea -- if it comes from the heart -- he cannot ignore. His wisdom and constancy and reliability is at stake.
Wow Vonia, That was awesome! I have never thought about the situation being reversed before, but I have heard it said "We would never have enough sense to choose Him for ourselves, so thank God He chose us. We are fickle and are saturated in this world of sin, but by grace, through faith Jesus Christ came showing is everlasting love and saved and chose us. It should give us confidence in the Lord to know that he chose and appointed us! When I think of how undeservant I am and how He saw something in me that I didn't see, something that no one in the world could see, I am humbled. Marvin Sapp says 'He saw the best in me.' Since He did, we have to give him all that we have!
It still amazes me that God has so much FAITH in us that he would entrust us with such an important job. Ministry and kingdom building should be the purpose and goal of all christians. Joy, I agree with you, I am soooo humbled that God knows me as I will be and not what I am today.
Now that we have been called to do this work, we must understand that bearing fruit is general and broad. John W. Ritenbaugh states, " it includes everything produced as a result of our labors of publicly preaching the gospel, the service to the church in pastoring, and our personal overcoming and growing in the image and likeness of God.
God deserves the best, therefore we must focus on producing FRUIT that is pleasing to the eyes of the LORD!!
So very true Vonia! It's still astounding to sit back and watch how much a simple plea can be so powerful. Could it be that the more simple the cry, the more sincere it is? It's when we reach that point that we can remove all the things that we think matter, but go directly to the person that allowed them to be when we see true results. For example, the woman who went to Jesus to heal her son, but because of the things that we value, race, status, and gender norms deemed her unworthy because she was a Gentile. Someone who didn't grow up in the "church," but had greater faith than the those who did. "Even the dogs desire the crumbs that fall from the table." Lord, help me is so much more than a 3 letter cry. It's where we realize like Lauryn Hill where "Nothing Else Matters," we'll see God move.
I love this verse! It reminds me of the God's love for us. It also sets the standard for the way that we should love and treat others. I find myself repeating this often, "be patient, be kind, keep no record of wrongs, don't boast," basically show true LOVE! This is the type of love that pleases our heavenly Father. We sometimes show our own, flesh-filled version of love that gets upset and frustrated with others, that is boastful, that is based on our emotions and how we feel toward the other person, that is envious and proud. Oh, how I long for us all to show TRUE love to one another, as is defined in the word of God!
We read in this chapter that, really, nothing compares to real, genuine, Godly love. Agape love. Love that is unconditional. It doesn't matter how much of the 'gifts' we are operating in, if we have not God's love inside, it means nothing. Everything we do needs to come from a heart of real, genuine love.
This verse gives me reassurance and confidence in the God that we serve! The first part "Ye are of God", specifies who John is talking to-- ALL of God's children. It also serves warning to those who are not of God. You will not receive same promise if you are not a child of God. Some of us deny our true Father by the way that we live. We should ask ourselves "what does it truly mean to be of God." The second part of this verse "have overcome them," speaks to me in present, past and future tense! No matter what your "Them" is, you are already a conqueror! As a child of the most high God your enemies are defeated because -- greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Our Father is bigger and stronger than any situation that we come up against and has already given us the victory! ----Love this verse!
Here’s the thing, the women who first carried the Gospel had operated to fulfill tradition by taking spices for Jesus’ body. Only to discover that what used to work doesn’t work when you meet you truly understand and meet the Savior. The tradition called for prepping the body on the 3rd day to preserve. The fulfillment of tradition got up for us. Imagine the looks on their faces where their faith superseded their understanding…..confused, dumbfounded, and out of place. Yet, they knew that the God their served didn’t leave them with false promises. How often do we live life trying to make tradition fit into our situations that only call for faith? Better yet, do we still expect Jesus to live in the box that we created? Do we live life with the knowledge that He is not dead?
Just some thoughts.
Wow, that is a great point Chris. I never thought of it in the way of them fulfilling tradition! Faith sometimes is hard for us to grasp. Especially in a world where we want to see instant results. However, we must believe in Him to be saved. There is no tangible evidence, nothing to put our hands or to taste, see, smell. There is only Faith. Faith that he died for our sins and arose on the third day and acended into heaven and is now seated on the right hand side of the Heavenly Father. It's faith in this that brings us hope and joy, and helps us as we go through things.
Great point Chris! Even though I know this scripture derives from the "3rd Day" aka when He rose, my attention is grabbed at the end of the passage. 'While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.' - verse #4.
It's simple. Just when I thought I was by myself, God and the Holy Spirit came right by myself to comfort me.
"That's why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn't stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!"
Simply put,when I read this is thought about the YAM team and I share the sentiments of the author of this passage.
Hi you guys,
This is Simone associate minister at Temple#72 in Paris, TN. Excited about establishing a YAM auxilary at our temple and we look forward to fellowshipping via this blog. Paece and Blessings
*What does this scripture mean to you?*How is it relevant in 2012*What has God revealed to you through this scripture?*How can we apply this scripture to our daily lives?