How to be a friend and the results of being one, part 4
Over the few days we have explored these verses in John 15 v9-17 focusing on friendship and love, with an action and a result to consider. Here is the final part.
Some people never reach their dreams because they are not generous with others. In God’s economy, the surest way to limit your success is to hold tightly to what you have. In His economy, you only get more by giving more.
Once you learn the joy of serving others, you won’t want to live any other way. Generous living becomes a breeze. It enlarges your spirit; it empowers and multiplies other people’s dreams.
It’s a biblical pattern that sometimes you need to support someone else’s dream before your dream bears fruit. By giving your time and energy to them, you give God an opportunity to build character in you so that one day your dream will explode into being. A good example of this is Joseph from the book of Genesis.
Joseph was stuck in a prison for years, unable to follow his own dream. While there, he worked diligently to make the prison run well. He supported Pharaoh’s dream with his best ideas and energy. Then one day Joseph interpreted a dream for a fellow inmate, a butler who went on to be released and given a position of power. Later that butler remembered Joseph and soon Joseph became the second – in – command in Egypt.
If that seems like a roundabout way to get your dream fulfilled, it is. But that’s how God often works. While you’re trying to get your dream established, help someone else fulfil their dream, either by serving them directly or being generous. Join a ministry; give your time and energy to someone else.
Action: Focus on what will be produced.
Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—”v16.
Keep the fruit in mind. It isn’t the quantity but the quality. I love apples and I have my favourites but I wouldn’t say I am a lover of apple trees. I don’t think much about them. It is all about the fruit for me.
Think a minute of the people who have had the greatest influence on your life. Who were they?
What about some of the most amazing inventions? Who were the inventors? We all know who Tim Berners-Lee is yeah? We should do for we use his invention every day of our lives!
Amongst the disciples hearing Jesus was Andrew. Amazing things came from his actions but we don’t often think of him but his brother, Peter. But it was Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus; he brought the boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus; and he brought the Greeks into the presence of Jesus after Lazarus had been resurrected.
Andrew was prepared to take second place to the people who he had influenced because the fruit is the most important thing. The fruit. The work. The gospel. The kingdom. However you word it. Not the person but what God is doing through the person. However, it all stems because you are thinking less of yourself and are committed to friendship and love.
Result: You will be walking with God in His plans for your life.
“and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” v16
It’s quite an incredible promise isn’t it? Knowing the plans of God, asking in His name, understanding His will, seeing God do it.
You may have lost everything but as long as you have God’s means of revelation, His Word and His Spirit then you still have all you need.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7
What a friend we have in Jesus …
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
How you treat others will affect the revelation you gain from heaven.
And to wrap this up let me leave you with the command of Jesus in v17,
“This is my command: Love each other.”