URC Daily Devotion Tuesday 12th September 2023

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Tuesday 12th September 2023
Being fruitful


John 15:15-17

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.  You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.  I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.


In John’s image of the vine, Jesus clarifies how he regards his disciples: not strangers, nor disciples, and certainly not servants: they are friends. Here Jesus’ offer of the intimacy of friendship is overwhelming. To truly know Jesus is to be invited into friendship with God. And to know Jesus is to know the heart of God.  It is not just a case of we are known by the company we keep, abiding in Christ means we are likely to become the company we keep.
Our friendship is not an accident. There is a giftedness in his words of choice. As disciples we have received something we did not create, go looking for or earn.  Indeed, for those first disciples, being chosen would serve as a reminder that, as things were about to unravel, they were embraced by a divine purpose larger than themselves. For the community of John, hearing Christ chose them would give them the assurance that they needed to stand steadfast in the face of intense opposition.  
As disciples now, living in a culture that celebrates self and choice, these words call us back to an awareness of God’s initiative in seeking us out, gathering us into a community, and sending us into the world to bear fruit…that will last.
Some ‘fruit’ will not last: short-sightedness, impetuosity, selfish interests masked as the work of the Church, raw ambition disguised as false humility in the service of God: the list is long. Bearing fruit means cultivating true love with one another found within the inner life of God, the nurturing of new disciples and making wise choices in discerning what best serves the intentions of a loving God. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, disciples can neither love one another nor bring others to faith apart from abiding in the love of Christ. The vine is the source of life and everything that flows therefrom.


Remain strong in Jesus and flourish.
Remain rooted in Jesus and be fruitful.
Abide in Jesus and be blessed.
O God, 
help us to remain in you.
Help us to remain dependent, trusting and prayerful;
cultivate that true love found within the inner life with you,
a life of service that will bear much fruit. Amen.


Today’s writer

The Rev’d Nicola Furley Smith is the Secretary for Ministries and member of Purley URC

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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