We all long to know Jesus Christ more intimately.  The Bible instructs us to, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8a To draw near means to come closer: to approach. In order to draw near to God, you will need to put forth some effort. But if you love Him, it won't seem like any effort at all. If we draw near to God, he will reciprocate and draw near to us. To grow closer to Christ, spend time with Him, spend time in His word, and in prayer and worship Him, inviting Him into every aspect of our lives.

His love for us is immeasurable! There is no greater joy than knowing you are loved by the Father.  Anything that stops you from drawing near to God and receiving His love should be let go.

It's humbling and exciting to know that we have direct access to God and can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence knowing that we will receive mercy and grace from Him. "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

We have been chosen to bear fruit, yet we cannot bear fruit unless we are abiding in Jesus who is the True Vine and His Father "the vinedresser." He is the gardener and desires us to be fruitful.  We draw our very life from Him. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1  Jesus says in John 15:4-5   He also warned in, John 15:6

When we abide in Him and His Word abides in us, we prove to be His disciples by bearing fruit and the Father is glorified. We have the blessing of asking whatever we wish knowing it will be done for us in agreement with His will.  John 15:7-8  Jesus gives us a similar promise in John 14:13-14 

As believers we are to abide in His love by keeping His commandments just as He kept the Father's commandments. When we have committed ourselves to Christ and live to please Him, the natural result is bearing fruit that look like His. There is joy in keeping His commandments.  John 15:9-11   

In vs. 16, Jesus reiterates that we were chosen to be fruit bearers for His Kingdom. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

When Jesus talks about bearing fruitI believe it is becoming like Jesus and exhibiting Christlikeness. Every believer should be bearing spiritual fruit that will show itself in our lives as a change in our character and outlook on life.  How much fruit we bear has to do with how closely we abide in Christ the Vine. bearing-fruit-1-638

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines bear fruit as: If something that someone does bears fruit, it produces successful results. The Bible gives an excellent description of a life characterized by the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23  says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." The fruit of the Spirit, then, is the true character of the Christian life that replaces the self-life, or old man.

To draw closer to Christ, abide in His love; obey His commandments; abide in Him, His word, and in prayer; live to glorify the Father by bearing fruit; and stay focused so that your joy may be complete!

Many Blessings in 2017!

Published by Dr. A. Francine Green