"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..."
- John 15.16
And it so happens that just as [men] gather the fruits of the cursed earth with hard toil, so too they cannot keep the natural goodness they inherently possess without wearisome trouble...
- Anonymous, Liber de Ordine Creaturarum (Irish, 7th century)
Salvation is a matter of divine choice. God is not obligated to save anyone, for all of us have sinned and fall short of His glory. Given the opportunity to search Him out, piqued and prodded by His revelation through the creation, we choose to ignore Him. We prefer a god more to our own liking than the One Who made us for His glory.
So if anyone is going to be saved, it will only be by the grace of God - for by grace are you saved, not of works. And the determination of whom that grace is to be extended to is entirely a matter of divine choice - not of him that willeth or of him that runneth, but of God, that showeth mercy.
So why you? Why did He save you?
Well, not because of any inherent worthiness you might have possessed. And not because in some way God was able to foresee just what a great break it would be for Him to have you on His team.
Jesus tells us: He chose you, redeemed you, and saved you so that you might bear abiding fruit for His glory. What kind of fruit? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, increasing holiness in the Lord, others won to the Lord. That kind of fruit.
But it doesn't come naturally to us. We must "work out" the salvation we have graciously recived (Phil. 2.12), knowing that as we apply ourself to the "hard toil" and "wearisome trouble" of growing in grace, God, Who is at work within us, will enable us to fulfil our reason for being (Phil. 2.13).
Bearing fruit for Jesus is hard work, friends. The world scoffs at the idea of it, and strews our path with diversions, worries, and obligations which are designed, at least in part, to keep us from what matters most. Our own nature, still plagued by the law of sin, easily conspires with spiritual forces of wickedness to cause us to waste time and peddle away from anything relative to the life of faith that looks like it might be hard work.
But, oh, there is fruit, abundant, glorious, God-honoring, others-blessing, joy-inducing fruit to be born in this life of faith! If only we're willing to take up the work of it.
Why you? To bear fruit for Jesus and His glory. Your life is a journey with the Lord, and He has bigger and better plans for you than you'll ever be able to concoct on your own. Are you ready to seek His plans and settle into His will?
If so, get ready to bear fruit. And then you - and everyone else - will know why you.
T. M. Moore, Principal
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