John 15:4-20 (TPT)
Jesus the Living Vine
4 “You show that you are my intimate friends when you obey [habitually] all that I command you. 15 I have never called you ‘servants,’ because a master doesn’t confide in his servants, and servants don’t always understand what the master is doing. But I call you my most intimate and cherished friends, [cared for from the womb] for I reveal to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I’ve chosen [invited] and commissioned you to go into the world [in ministry] to bear fruit. And your fruit will last, because whatever you ask of my Father, for my sake, [in my name] he will give it to you! 17 So this is my parting command: Love one another deeply!”
True Disciples Can Expect Persecution
18 “Just remember, when the unbelieving world hates you, they first hated me. 19 If you were to give your allegiance to the world, they would love and welcome you as one of their own. But because you won’t align yourself with the values of this world, they will hate you. I have chosen you and taken you out of the world to be mine. 20 So remember what I taught you, that a servant isn’t superior to his master [redeemer]. And since they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. And if they obey my teachings, they will also obey yours.
In our passage today, Jesus shares with his disciples the blessing of habitually obeying Christ’s commands. This involves a choice for the disciples; a choice to abide (dwell and align with Christ). We, too, are invited into a very powerful connection in Christ and as we follow him and begin to bear the fruit of righteousness we set ourselves up in the favor of God. Yet, let’s keep reading our passage, because when we choose to accept Christ’s invitation and commission, we must understand that persecution is always attracted to the anointing. For this reason, we must stand strong in the power of Christ and fight off every evil spirit that will try to come and rob the effective and miraculous work of our King. Truth wrapped in love and bathed in prayer is Christ’s choice of weapon for his disciples.
As Kingdom citizens, we do not nor will we ever fit into this world’s systems. If we feel like we belong here, I am concerned we have not allowed the Kingdom to be birthed within us. True disciples choose to abide and align with Christ. To have Christ possess us is to choose His way of making us right: imparting righteous, peace, and joy in the Spirit (Ro 14:17). The world is not interested in you if you make righteous fruit your goal. The Kingdom and the world are spiritual opposites. The Kingdom is built upon the foundation of Christ’s redeeming life and offers freedom, self-control, and sacrificial love for the King and one another. Kingdom people use all their energies working to get along with one another. The world’s system is built upon dark and oppressive control, unquenchable greed, and poisonous self-love. There is a spiritual war going on for our country and the world to return to God. The sons and daughters of God understand that battle, possess the needed grace and anointing, and stand in love, righteousness, and prayer to reveal the work of the Kingdom in the midst of darkness. Choose to stand there and see the salvation of the Lord operating in your life.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for choosing me and all my brothers and sisters to be the bearers of your presence in the world. Help me to bear the fruit of righteousness each day and pray for opportunities to shine the Light of Truth into the darkness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.