My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit, and [so] prove to be My disciples.
I have often wondered what proof there would be in my life that I had truly been saved. I mean, there will always be temptation this side of Heaven and trials come to everyone. This morning’s verse caught me off guard. The proof is plain as can be and is also a glory to the Father: fruit.
As a younger man, I was quite angry. This is not to say that the anger mysteriously vanished or that I went through some number-of-steps-program to gain control over my anger. My program was one step: ask God to take control of the anger every time it showed up. After rather more asking than I would have liked — I was an angry young man — the anger was under control. The control I hold over it now is not perfect, just as I am not perfect, but anyone who knew the angry young man and spent time with who I am now would note the difference. This self-control is fruit of the Spirit and evidence that I am Jesus’ disciple.
I cannot content myself with that. Jesus tells me that the Father is glorified when I bear much fruit, not when I bear just a bit of it. God does not merely want me to have self-control where anger is concerned, but in every aspect of my life. He wants me to become a model of self-control, such that people marvel at the extent of it. The Father also wants me to love in such a way as to inspire the wonder of those who see it; in such a way as can only be explained by God in me. And the list goes on: joy, peace, patience/longsuffering, kindness, goodness, gentleness — all of these things God wants to produce in a harvest so plentiful that there is no warehouse in the world large enough to contain it.
By this is my Father glorified: that I bear fruit. By this is it proved that I am a disciple of Christ: that I bear much fruit. Am I bearing much fruit?