A Fruit Called Love

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. … As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. … If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. … As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. … You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you.

– John 15: 2, 4-5, 7, 9, 16 (OSB)

The words “love” and “fruits” are repeated so many times in this one conversation Christ had with His disciples. Coincidence? I think not.

We get it wrong so often. We think that God wants something from us other than our love, but He doesn’t. Literally everything that should come from our discipleship, our friendship with Christ stems from this one thing: LOVE. It’s so simple, and yet we insist on complicating it!

God = love. So when we abide in God we abide in love. Every fruit, every action and word, every outcome should be a direct result of love. Out of His love are we able to love – Him, others, ourselves. And that is why He says, “you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” When we truly dwell in God and His love, His desires become our desires – we no longer desire and seek silly or selfish things, but what God desires we will desire, and when we ask they will be done.

The deeper we delve into our relationship with God, the deeper in love we become and the closer to God we become – in our desires, our thoughts, our words, our appearance. It takes time and it takes effort: we are pruned just as a plant must be pruned to ensure it continues to produce good fruit, but the more time and effort we put into becoming more like Him, in abiding in His love, the more we become love. This is what we have been chosen to be.

And really, that’s what the world needs now more than ever, right? Love.


Way Too Full But Not Full Enough

The last couple of days I’ve been struggling with a little bit of a hurt pride. I’ve been struggling with my insecurities. I’ve been hurting just a little more than I normally am. And today God decided it was time to make it blatantly obvious why.

Today’s daily journal referred to 2 Kings 3:16, 20:

“And he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’…Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water.”

The little embellishment below the verse said this:

Before God can become incarnate in my heart I must empty myself so that there is room for Him to dwell. If I surrender to God and ask Him to show me which parts of my heart need to be emptied, He will never leave me dry. He is faithful to fill up the ditches of my heart with His living water.

It seems like the theme of my life lately has been where my desires lie. My insecurities, my hurt, my injured pride. They all stem from one thing: desiring something other than God.

When I desire other things, I try to fill myself with them. I fill and I fill and I fill. But then I am hurt and I am disappointed and I am miserable.

“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)

broken cistern

I realize this is a topic that is repeated over and over, but it is a topic that I believe can never be repeated enough. Is that not the cause of mankind’s undoing? We look for satisfaction, for fulfillment, for complete happiness. And we will lie, cheat, and steal if we have to in order to obtain it. We will abandon God and our beliefs in pursuit of satisfaction, when in fact, He is the only Thing that will satisfy us. And what are we left with? Even more loneliness and emptiness.

We have to abandon our pursuit of satisfaction in other people, in possessions. We have to let go. We have to let God.

When we let go and let God, we will be satisfied, fulfilled, whole. No longer will we be disappointed because we will be trusting in the One who alone can fill, who alone can heal, who alone will not disappoint.

I pray that we – I first and foremost – empty ourselves, surrender to God, and allow the fulfillment to flow.

My Beauty is Desired

There are a couple psalms that I have starred, underlined, highlighted, you name it, in my agpeya. One of them, a third hour psalm, is psalm 44 (45 in the Bible). Although parts of it I don’t necessarily get 100%, there’s this one part that just gets me, pulls at my heart, every time I read it.

Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;
So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him. (v 10-11).

Golly! The King, the King thinks I am so desirable! He looks at my beauty and cannot help Himself but think, now she is a beautiful woman! And for that beauty I am greatly desired!

It may sound like I’m making way too big a deal, but think about it with me. We all want to be desired. Isn’t that why we take time to do our hair, try on 5 different outfits in the morning only to choose the first option, try to sound interesting to the people we interact with? We as humans have this innate desire to be desired!

Taking all that into consideration, look back at those couple verses.

Did you do it?

Makes a little more sense now why I’m so in love with this verse, right? I am being told, you are being told, that you are so beautiful that the King, the One who could have anyone and anything in the world, looks at you and sees you as beautiful, as unique, as one who is greatly desired. He wants and loves you so much He says, “forget your father’s house, forget everyone else, because I want you!”

How’s that for an awesome start of your day?