Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Day Thirty-Six: Joy, Fruitfulness, and the Glory of God

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

I can remember so vividly the days before I was in Christ, how I hated and disobeyed and rebelled against and ignored him. How I lived as a law unto myself. How I sought to fulfill every fleshly desire, following in the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). But now, by the immeasurable grace and kindness of God, I am not only a friend of God but a child, and therefore I am a fellow-heir with Christ! (Romans 8:17) And as a fellow heir with Christ, I am ever receiving grace upon grace so that I may bear fruit with Christ and bring glory to God the Father. I, who was once an enemy of God, now bear the fruit of the vine and bring glory to God the Father!

Who can imagine such grace? Who can conceive of a God so good and kind that he turns his enemies, not only into friends, but into fruit-bearing sons and daughters? Who can comprehend the privilege of living a life that, by grace, brings glory to God? “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33)

The reason the fruit of the vine brings such joy to our souls is because every single piece of fruit is a testimony to the fact that this immeasurable grace of God is at work in our lives. Every single piece of fruit cries out that we were great sinners but God is a greater savior. Every single piece of fruit displays the fact that we are indeed abiding in Christ, and that his words are indeed abiding in us. Every single piece of fruit is a clarion call to those still lost in their sin to come and know this God of unspeakable grace.

And oh how I pray that we will long more and more for the fruit of the vine that we may know the joy of Christ! Oh how I pray that we will strive to abide in Christ and allow his words to abide in us. Oh how I pray that we will learn to plead with him always and for everything, receiving many answers to prayer, proving to be his disciples, glorifying God the Father, and knowing--truly knowing--the joy of Christ!

Prayer Focus: Plead with me that the Father will open our eyes to see the fullness of the gospel in every single piece of kingdom fruit we bear, and pray that he will make us immensely fruitful people so that his name will be greatly glorified.

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