Do you have days when you feel insignificant, unwanted, or unloved? You may have wondered if you were a mistake, or if God mixed up your place in life.
Maybe I’ve shared this before, but I used to wish I was not a preacher’s daughter. I didn’t think much of the role when I was a teenager. I was mostly concerned about how my friends saw me.
I just wanted a ‘normal’ teenage life (or what I thought was normal). These feelings eventually led to me wonder why God would put me in a family like mine if I couldn’t even appreciate it.
We find encouragement for feelings like this scattered throughout God’s word.
There is no lack of reminders we are His children, created by Him, made for His pleasure…and that He places us exactly in the places we’re meant for.
Some chapters in the Bible are so rich it’s almost too much to contain. For me, the fifteenth chapter of John is one of those. Today, I want to share four truths Jesus says to you, all found in one verse.
Before we get to that, let’s look at a few of the many well-known statements leading up to John 15.16. I think it’s safe to say Jesus was on a roll. He said:
- I am the true vine, and my Father [God] is the gardener. (John 15:1)
- Abide in Me, and I in you. (John 15:4)
- Those who abide in Me and I in them bear much ruit, because apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5b)
- If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted. (John 15:7)
- As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. (John 15:9)
- These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)
- Love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12b)
- No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. (John 15:13)
- I have called you My friends… (John 15:15)
What encouragement for those struggling with your place, purpose, or reason for being. And, finally…
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.
Here is what Jesus wants you to know. In this moment, let’s focus on these four truths Jesus says to you in John 15:16.
#1 – You did not choose Him.
Have you ever said, “I’m so glad I found Jesus?” It’s okay. I have, too, but it’s important to recognize this is incorrect. Yes, we decide to accept Jesus as Savior and live for Him, but make no mistake about it. He knew you long before you knew Him.
In fact, Jesus, who is one with Father, knit you together in your mother’s womb. He knew you before conception. You did not choose Him.
#2 – He chose you.
When we read this story in context we recognize Jesus is speaking to His disciples. His days on earth were ending. This was His time to teach ¹a clear understanding of their position with God, as well as what was expected of them.
This Word is also for us. We believe it applicable to our life today, so John 15.16 is for you. He chose you as His child. He chose you to come into right relationship with Him. He chose you to receive the promises and benefits made available to all who call upon Him as Lord and Savior. It was His choice to choose you.
#3 – He appointed you.
Are you thinking, “I don’t understand why he appointed me to this, because I do not see God in this situation or the mess that is my life, now?”
Understand what He has appointed you to. In this verse, Jesus is telling the disciples, “I’ve appointed you to go and bear fruit…” The same applies to you and me. He walks with us on the journey of life. He leads us in making decisions – sometimes we listen, sometimes we don’t. We decide where to go to school, what jobs to take, whom to marry, where we attend church, and the list goes on.
In the middle of all of those “life” things, He has appointed you – to bear fruit. As His child, He has called you to draw others to Him.
There will be times we struggle so with our own situation that we are not much good as fruit-bearers. God sees this and knows everything we are facing. He understands, but we must not forget what He has called us to.
As we go through the hard times and come out on the other side, He is there waiting – reminding us of our appointment.
#4 – He will give you what you ask for, in His name.
Yes, He will, but there is a catch. ¹Jesus linked the request making with the fruit bearing. It is His good pleasure to grant our requests, but we must keep our appointment.
So, we lean into Jesus, growing and becoming more like Him. We live as one on assignment from the Father, striving to produce fruit that lasts. Only then is He released to give us what we need, even what we ask for, but only as it pertains to seeing more fruit come to life.
He chose you. There is nothing about you insignificant, unwanted, or unloved, nor was there a mistake or mix-up.
I was born the daughter of a preacher. It was one of the appointments on the calendar of my life. Today, I understand it positioned me to bear fruit for the Lord.
He wants to give each of us what we ask for, but there is the catch. Are we willing to work at producing fruit (by touching people, loving the broken, serving others, sharing the Gospel)?
Friend, I believe you have an appointment to keep.