How can I be successful in life?
by Esme Schmitt
The last few weeks I keep on returning to John 15. It’s a rich chapter full of great truths. I keep reading it over and over…with a specific thought in mind, “God, how can I be successful in life?” I don’t know about you, but I want to bear good and lasting fruit. In this blog I want to show you that God has a desire for you to be successful and that you can be successful in life!
One of the themes of John 15 is the concept of ‘abiding in Christ so that we can bear fruit’. This fruit does not come from our own independent effort or work, but is actually comes from the Vine Himself.
“Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much fruit.” (John 15:5)
This is quite a liberating truth. Fruit comes from living in God and by keeping His Word in our heart and mind (John 15:7) It’s not based on my effort. Bearing fruit is intertwined with my relationship with God.
What does this word ‘fruit’ refer to?
As I meditated on the above, I started to question God on the meaning of the word fruit. Does fruit only refer to winning souls or does it have a broader meaning? The word fruit in John 15 comes from the Greek word Karpos. Karpos has the following meanings:
- the fruit of the trees, vines, of the fields
- the fruit of one’s loins, i.e. his progeny, his posterity
That which originates or comes from something, an effect, result
- work, act, deed
- advantage, profit, utility
- praises, which are presented to God as a thank offering
- to gather fruit (i.e. a reaped harvest) into life eternal (as into a granary), is used in fig. discourse of those who by their labours have fitted souls to obtain eternal life
Definition came from the Blue Letter Bible’s lexicon.
It’s clear from the above definition that fruit encompasses all aspects of our life, from having children to the result of our deeds. It even refers to the economic term utility! Utility represents satisfaction experienced by the consumer from goods. This means that God wants the fruit that you are bearing to be seen in how satisfied the consumers of your goods are!
What is the purpose of bearing fruit?
John 15:8 discusses a surprising aspect of bearing fruit. There are two purposes for bearing fruit:
- Bearing fruit honors and glorifies God
- Bearing fruit shows and proves that we are good followers of God!
It is truly surprising to think that the fruit I bear actually honors and glorifies God! My successes honors God. This is a powerful thought and proves that God is truly invested in the fruit I bear. God wants me to be successful.
Another point that is noteworthy to mention is that the honor and glory God receives goes much deeper than the fruit of our actions. In the beginning of this blog I explained that our fruit comes from abiding in Christ. This means that God can receive honor and glory from our fruit; since it is rooted in Him.
In the past the church have had a very ungodly view of success. It was seen as prideful and saturated with selfish desires. The godly view of success does not have any of these elements, since it comes from a true place of abiding in Christ!
Does God want me to be successful?
Yes! He wants you to be successful in life. He wants you to bear good fruit in all areas of your life. And when there is no fruit, He even helps you by cutting away the things that stand in your way. We call this pruning. God is truly with you in your desire to bear good fruit. He will lead you and guide in how to do this. God is fully invested into your success!
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