“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
But I owe a great deal to God. He gave me this great boon: that through me many heathen should be reborn in God, and that afterwards they should be confirmed as Christians...
- Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century
Jesus has chosen us for Himself and made us a people for His own possession, so that we might proclaim the many excellencies of Him Who has called us out of darkness into His glorious light (1 Pt. 2.9, 10).
We have been given power from on high so that we might be witnesses for the Lord (Acts 1.8), and we have the assurance that, if we are faithful in sowing the Word of the Lord, trusting in the Spirit to fill and transform us, Christ will bring forth abundant fruit through us (Gal. 6.7-9).
Patrick believed every word of it, and he spent 60 years sowing up and down Ireland, trusting the Lord to use his witness to bring many to Christ. Which He did.
Jesus has chosen us so that we would bear fruit, and so that the fruit He gives to us, like Patrick’s, might abide and become solid in following Jesus. Today it is unusual to find Christians who are outspoken about their faith in the Lord, who talk regularly with their friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the joys of salvation and the hope of the Gospel.
Why is this, brethren?
We cannot hope to bear fruit for Christ if we are not willing to sow the Word to the lost. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Lk. 19.10). How about us? Are we seeking the lost or avoiding them? Are we eager to bear witness to Jesus or careful not to do so, for fear we might offend someone?
The Lord stands ready to bring abundant fruit from our faithful witness, but then, that's the problem, isn’t it?
The faithful witness part, I mean.
What will it take to get you and me to be more faithful like Patrick, and to make the most of every opportunity to sow the Word for the Lord?
Whatever it is, let’s do it, shall we?
Psalm 118.26-29 (Windsor: “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”)
Blest are they who in His Name come and Jesus’ grace proclaim.
God His light upon us shines in the Savior’s sacrifice.
Praise and thanks to You, O Lord! We extol Your holy Word!
Thanks to You, for You are good! Thanks to our great loving God!
Help me to be ready today, O Lord, for any opportunity to talk about Jesus.