“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” – John 15:16-17
Human beings are so inclined to hubris! We take pride in our intellect, our financial status, our children, our homes, our jobs, etc. In the church, we see people who have pride in their relationship to God, their obedience, or their works for the Kingdom. We forget that all of those things are blessings from God; they reflect his glory, not ours. In today’s reading, Jesus reminds his disciples of that fact in no uncertain terms: “You did not choose me, but I chose you”.
Jesus wanted his disciples, and us, to know that everything we have, and everything we are, is a gift from him. Your mind was created by the Lord, knit together while you were in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:15). Your money is a gift; your family is a gift; your job is a gift. In the Offertory of the Episcopal service, we say these words: “All things come from thee, O Lord. And of thine own, have we given thee.” This simple statement conveys a profound truth: everything and everyone belongs to the Lord. We bring to him what is already his. On this earth, we are simply stewards of the great gifts that God has entrusted to us.
Jesus also wanted each of his disciples to use their gifts to build the Kingdom of God. That is the fruit that abides. When we share the Good News with the lost and one soul enters the Kingdom, that is eternal fruit. When we serve someone who is struggling and they see the heart of Jesus through us, that is fruit that abides. Jesus commands his followers first to love him, but then to love one another. The love between the brothers and sisters of Christ is fruit that will abide; it is fruit that we will enjoy far beyond our earthly days and right into eternity.
You are the chosen child of God, friend of God, and disciple of God. May you marvel at this precious gift and use everything he has given you for his glory.
Reflect & Respond:
How might the Lord be calling you to humility today, to recognize that all you are and all you have is a gift from him? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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