Shepherd to Sheep
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another. John 15:7-17 (NKJV)
In today’s text we learn some important lessons about love, joy and obedience.
Love unites the disciples to Christ as branches are united to a vine. Two results stem from this relationship: obedience & joy. Obedience marks the cause of their fruitfulness; joy is its result. Jesus intends his disciples to be both spontaneous & happy rather than burdensome & boring. Obedience in carrying out his purpose guarantees success, for Jesus never plans failure for his disciples. Joy logically follows when the disciples realize that the life of Christ in them is bringing fruit–something they could never produce in their own strength.