A little boy had a rare blood disorder, and to save his life his Doctor’s began to identify candidates that matched his exact blood type in order to give the little boy a blood transfusion. After searching high and low for a match the Doctor’s came up short. Finally one of the Physicians suggested testing the boy’s twin sister to see if she could be a donor, and they were thrilled to find out that she would be a perfect fit.
The Doctors explained what the procedure entailed to the family with the twins in the room. They talked with the little girl and asked her if she would be willing to undergo the procedure in order to save her brother’s life–she agreed.
The procedure went perfectly, and afterwards one Doctor went to talk to the little girl to let her know how well everything went, and thank her again for saving her brother’s life. When he saw the little girl in recovery he noticed that she was crying softly. He asked her what was wrong…with a quivering lip she replied, “when do I die?” The Doctor got a huge lump in his throat. At that moment he realized that all along the girl thought that by giving her blood to her brother, she had to die in order for him to live. Throughout it all, she was really willing to die so her brother could make it.
That story reminds me of the Gospel of John in Chapter 15 verse 13, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus was not only willing to die for our sins all along, but He actually did give up his life for us. But what has struck me this week is that Jesus did not do this just for us to have Eternal Life. He also gave His life in order that we would bear much fruit. In its context, Jesus has just finished preaching about Himself being the Vine, and we are the branches.
What is vital to understand though is that as branches of the True Vine, we MUST bear fruit, and not only for a season or two, but continually. It was also John who recorded Jesus as saying “if you love Me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
As I have thought about these verses, I certainly realize that we cannot do anything to earn salvation. But we can in a sense say “thank yous” along the way to Christ for what He has done by being obedient to what He has called us to–a life of good works…a life of bearing much fruit. One fellow said, “we are saved by faith alone, but saving faith is never alone” (it is always accompanied by good works).
It’s kind of like that little girl we spoke of. Her brother could not pay her back for her loving-kindness and sacrificial heart. But he could show his appreciation through acts of kindness and love towards her.
We should be no different.
So where could you start? By sharing a good word from the Bible with someone around you. I’m all for living out the Christian life so that others would recognize our faith (Matthew 5:16), but oftentimes there are so many mixed messages in non-verbals that we need to verbalize some type of message. And what better way to verbalize a message than sharing a verse with someone else. As a matter of fact, let me challenge you to do just one thing–share John 15:13 with someone who needs a good word from this key verse in the New Testament. Just do it and let the Lord take it from there.
If you pray about sharing this verse with someone, I promise you someone will pop up out of nowhere who really needs to hear this verse. Just be ready, bold, and willing and also be sure to remember Joshua 1:9 which says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” AMEN!!!