In John 15, verses 15 through 17, Jesus tells his disciples, “Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.”
These verses really impacted me tonight when I read them. I am awed at the concept that Jesus is talking about here, that he is the one that chose his disciples and not the other way around. Paul addresses this is some of his letters also, how Jesus and God choose each of us for a purpose.
When I was interacting with God and Christ using a legal substance, one thing that seemed evident to me was that time runs differently in the spirit world. I don’t know all the details but it seems clear that these sacred beings operate in a different time frame and that past, present, and future seem much closer together in this plane; in some ways it seems possible that these states of time are merged.
In other words it does seem sometimes like things are preordained, and this concept is talked about throughout the Bible. Paul was chosen by Christ and given his vision on the road to Damascus, and it seems that each of us may be chosen by Christ as well. It is part of his unconditional love for us that he has loved us since our lives began; it is clear to me that we all come from God and return to him when we die.
It really impacted me tonight to consider the reality of being chosen by God. We all have a specific mission or gift that we are sent here to accomplish or share, and I do believe this life is a test of our souls, to see if we are able to complete our mission given to us by God and Christ.
Christ repeats in these verses the directive that the disciples produce lasting fruit; once again he is talking about sharing testimony so that others can be drawn to Salvation through Christ as well. I was reminded earlier about how my grandmother used to say that certain transgressions of hers would be ‘bad for her testimony’; this really resonated with me because her words are so true.
What we do and say as followers of Christ can draw people to him but they can also push people away from him. I have to remind myself multiple times a day that this is more important than anything else in my life and that I have to watch my speech and behavior; many times I fall short and have to repent for my actions as follower of Christ when I act out of self rather than bringing honor to Christ’s name like Paul tells us to in his writings.
At the end of this passage Jesus commands us again to love each other, and this command implores us to put being representatives of Christ and his love before any other selfish impulses. Paul and David in particular were very frank in their writings about their struggles with self, and I am glad that they were humble enough to share about how they struggled with falling short of the glory of Christ. These verses above really helped me tonight to refocus my efforts on striving to behave as a citizen of heaven and a representative of Christ, as Paul implores us to do, and to remember to put Christ’s command to love my fellow humans before selfishness and self-seeking behaviors.
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