“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:8
The heavenly Father’s goodness, greatness, and grace is proclaimed and manifested before all creation when the life of the VINE Jesus flows into believing disciples and they bear the fruit of lives filled with actions, attitudes, and words of true love.
The ultimate evidence that I truly have become a disciple of the LORD Jesus with a living relationship with HIM is when HIS unconditional and sacrificial love for others is seen in me (John 15:12).
The purpose of my life is to reflect the character, competence, and compassion of the Father God as manifested in the Lord Jesus Christ. As I become an imitator of HIM by having HIS life flow into me and bear fruit through me, I reach the full potential of my life.
This is a far cry from the purpose of my life is to find personal peace and prosperity since to love as the Lord Jesus loved means that I will have to sacrifice my personal peace and prosperity for the good of others and HIS kingdom. I will have to take up my cross and follow HIM.
I am tempted many times to live for my own glory and not to see the Father be glorified in me. I want my goodness, my greatness, and my grace proclaimed. I don’t want my good deeds seen as the life of Christ Jesus in me but as a demonstration that I am better and brighter than others. I want to build my own ego through acts of self-righteousness instead of having Christ’s righteousness flowing through me that people might see my good works so that they may give glory to my Father in heaven. I would rather they glorify me than glorify the heavenly Father in my insane self-centered approach to life.
As Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount; “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. This is so opposite of what I naturally do.
When I was in Bible college a few of us came to the realization that the purpose of life was to “glorify God” and not just to “win souls.” Our school’s one focus was just on seeing people become believers so that they could go to heaven. We were spiritual “fire rescue people” who were snatching people out of the flames by preaching the gospel of grace to them. The only thing that mattered is that they become “believers in grace” that they might escape hell fire. Now my school had little vision of really making them disciples filled with love, except that they also could become “fire rescue people.” The focus as I saw it, was a spiritual type of humanitarianism and not about the greatness, goodness, and grace of the heavenly Father being seen before a watching world.
So as we read passages from Paul; “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 we could see that our only concern should not just be evangelism but to “glorify God.” Yet this truth just became for me evidence that I was “better and brighter” than those who were “fire rescue” Christians. I had become part of an elite group of those who knew the real purpose of life. So instead of this truth leading to the glory of God it led to me glorifying myself for having greater knowledge than other people.
It is so easy to even have truth misused in my life.
Pastor John Piper says, “We live to make Christ look magnificent!” As John the Baptist said, “I want to be true of my life; ‘HE must increase but I must decrease.’” (John 3:30).
On the Day of Judgment, the LORD will not be focused on how much we knew, but on how well we had shown our love for HIM by demonstrating HIS love to others.
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”” Matthew 25:31-46
To really be a true disciple I have to have deeds of love which comes from the abiding life of the VINE Jesus flow into me and out of me for the purpose of all creation seeing reflected in me the goodness, greatness, and grace of the heavenly Father. This is why I was born and reborn. This is supposed to be the ultimate concern of my life, to see the heavenly Father glorified.
Good, great, and merciful Father in heaven who has brought infinite grace to me in my Messiah Jesus, forgive me for my pride, self-centeredness, and spiritual blindness. Forgive me for even turning truth into something that serves me, to exalt me, instead of serving YOU. Give to me the gift of humility. Save me from my pride. For YOUR glory save me from myself.
Broken as I am, still allow YOUR life LORD Jesus to come flowing through me. Good Father, prune me that I will bear more fruit. Allow me to be a true branch with true union with YOU and bring acts of love through me that the Father might be glorified in some ways through the tangled messy life I live.
LORD, have mercy, lift me up, cleanse me, and make me a fruitful branch. Amen