My Answers to BSF Bible study questions for John Lesson 20 Day 3
He who brings forth fruit to God’s glory, according to his light and power, will have the hindrances taken away from his heart; for his very thoughts shall be cleansed by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. (Adam Clarke)
6. Bearing fruit
The fruit of the Spirit in NLT
Am I bearing good fruit?
This year, my desire to bear good fruit has increased tremendously, especially the fruit of love. As a result, I quickly notice and feel convicted when I behave, speak, or even think in an unloving way.
Sadly, that still happens too often.
A young pastor friend shocked me last month when he said, “You’re so full of joy.” I don’t see it. Since he’s known me for eight years, perhaps he sees a change. I certainly hope so.
My granddaughter drew a picture of me wearing a shirt that says, “I love God.” That also surprised me. Maybe we don’t notice our own progress (or lack of it) as much as others do.
Instead of joy and peace, I often feel frustrated because I can’t focus or didn’t finish something, especially Bible study. Interruptions, the demands of life, technical issues when I’m trying to post a lesson—still get to me. Then I feel overwhelmed because I don’t want to let anyone down.
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. (MSG)
The harvester is collecting his pay, harvesting fruit ripe for eternal life. So even now, he and the sower are celebrating their fortune. (The Voice)
Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. (MSG)
You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. (MSG)
If, my brothers and sisters, you did not already know, my plans were set to meet you in Rome, but time and circumstances have forced every trip to be canceled until now. I have deeply desired to see some good fruit among you just as I have seen with so many non-Jewish believers. (The Voice)
Romans 6:22 (and verse 23)
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (MSG)
Colossians 1:10 (and verse 9)
Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. (MSG)
So wait patiently, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits [expectantly] for the precious harvest from the land, being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains. (AMP)
7. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. (MSG)
Jesus said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” (MSG)
Believers are branches. Branches are connected to the Vine. “This union is formed by believing in Him.” (Barnes)
Jesus said that loving God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength comes first. And then love others as we love ourselves.
Although some people dedicate themselves to serve others, if they don’t believe in Jesus, the Son of God, then the “fruit” they bear cannot be for the kingdom of God.
When Jesus taught His disciples about the vine and branches, only Jesus knew Judas wouldn’t be back. Judas left the Vine by his own choosing. I think Jesus taught this parable because of that situation.
The other disciples remained loyal to Jesus even though they had doubts and questions. Peter even betrayed Jesus. However, Jesus knew their hearts.
It’s easy to read too much judgment and condemnation into this teaching, I think.
We learn about patience and love when we realize Jesus still loves us and forgives us every single time we doubt, question, or betray Him. I beat myself up. He doesn’t.
I beat myself up. The accuser cheers me on.
Jesus says, “I’m praying for you.”
I’m abiding in the Vine.
Loving even when I don’t feel like it way more often these days
Learning to bite my tongue
Greater desire to love others
Greater willingness to serve others
MY answers — not THE answers — to BSF study questions on John Lesson 20 Day 3 ~ John 15:1-8