I believe a deep-seated fear many people face is nearing the end of their life wondering if their life had any value. One question lingers, “Did the way I lived my life on a day-to-day basis really matter?”
The truth is we all want our lives to count for something. We want them spent well on things that matter. For believers in Jesus Christ, to spend our lives well means that we lived for the glory of God. We worked with all our might to make sure that God was magnified before anything else.
This happens when we are actively abiding in Christ.
For believers in Jesus Christ, to spend our lives well means that we lived for the glory of God.
As we talked about in the previous teaching, we practice the act of remaining in Christ through two specific ways: obedience and Scripture meditation. When we’re doing those things (among other God-honoring disciplines), what is the result? What do we have to show for our lives when we’ve spent a lifetime abiding in Christ?
Jesus shares two things that our lives will demonstrate if we remain in him: fruit and joy.
A Life of Fruit
In one of the most significant If/Then statements in the Bible, Jesus shares what our lives will produce if we abide in Him. Take a look.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5
There are two things to make note of in Jesus’ Words. First, is that our lives will bear fruit, meaning our lives will produce a particular kind of result. What kind of fruit you ask? That can be described, most succinctly in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Theologian Matthew Henry describes fruit this way,
We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for Christianity; this is the fruit, a Christian temper and disposition, a Christian life and conversation, Christian devotions and Christian designs. We must honour God, and do good, and exemplify the purity and power of the religion we profess; and this is bearing fruit.”
The second thing I want you to notice about Jesus’ statement is that not only will we bear fruit, but he quantifies it. He states we will bear “much” fruit.
There’s an interesting progression that occurs in John 15 as Jesus talk about our bearing fruit. Take a look below.
v.2a – “…while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes…”
v.2b – “…so that it will be even more fruitful.”
v.5 – “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit…”
Do you see it? The longer we remain in Jesus the more fruit we bear. What a wonderful truth to hold in mind!
A Life of Joy
Finally, we see in John 15:11 the other result of a life lived in complete dependence on God.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
By remaining in Christ, our lives will be filled with joy; we will be glad and happy because Jesus is the source of our happiness. John 15:11 uses the word “complete,” to describe the state of our joy. That word complete can be best described as full. Therefore, our joy in Jesus will be full due to a life of abiding in Christ.
A life full of joy.
Do you want those characteristics to define your life?
I know I do.
Abide in Christ, bear fruit, and experience a life full of joy. Then, you’ll never have to wonder if your life mattered.