In part 1 I said we can be confident that we know God and He knows us if we keep His commands. In part 2 I again stated that if we love God we will strive to keep His commands and if we keep His commands and live by His spirit we will produce much fruit. In part three we will examine what a life with good fruit looks like.
In the Gospel of John when Jesus was speaking of His death He said to His disciples, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” Then later in John 15:13 Jesus talks about His death again. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” But Jesus was not only talking about His life. He was also talking about ours.
In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” What did taking up their cross symbolize? Jesus gave up His life and was crucified for us. The apostle Paul said that when we were baptized we were baptized into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3). If we truly love God, we will lay down our life for Him, like He laid down His life for us. If we lay down our life for Him and die to ourselves, we will produce many seeds, which will produce much fruit. If we live for ourselves apart from God, we can’t produce good fruit. To produce good fruit we must die first.
Our old self, our outer shell must come off before we can grow into a plant that produces many more seeds.
When someone insults us we will be slow to anger. When we are mistreated we won’t try to fight back. When someone steals from us we won’t try to get the money back but will instead pray for them. When trouble comes we will be filled with a peace that is unshakeable. We will have a love for all that is without want. We will give freely of our time, our talents, and our money to benefit others and to glorify God. We will assume a low position and put others before our wants or desires. We will be in constant thanksgiving and prayer and we will always trust in our Father’s plan. We will be hard working knowing that we are not working for man but working for God. We will constantly be filled with hope no matter where we go or what we do. Our eyes will be fixed on heavenly places and we will live as someone just passing through, without our thoughts wrapped up in the day to day activities of this world. Our faults and failures will cause a great sorrow within us. We will grieve our mistakes to the point of tears. We will cry out to God for mercy. Our hearts will sing songs of praise. We will think about God from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed; he will consume our thoughts.
A young child always emulates their parents. If you are a child of God you will emulate Him. Perhaps nothing sums it up better than 1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” If you are a child of God you will have a great love for everyone.
In part 4 we will look at the saddening truth that satan has many believers deceived.