Season 7 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast, Sweet Selah Moments Podcast

Episode 95 – Fruit-Filled Living

Season 7 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Season 7 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Episode 95 - Fruit-Filled Living

Season Seven is called “Fruit-Filled Living.” Nicole and Sharon are kicking this season off with a look at John 15 this episode. What does it mean to bear fruit in our lives? How can we make sure our daily living is “fruit-filled?” And why does that matter. Join the discussion, friend. We love comments!

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Read the transcript for Fruit Filled Living-Episode 95

Speaker 1 (00:01):

Welcome to a podcast designed to bring biblical encouragement to your weary soul. We are so glad you’re listening and we pray God blesses you and strengthens you in your walk with him. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is brought to you by the cooperative efforts of Sweet Selah Ministries and Word Radio. Sit back and enjoy.

Nicole (00:28):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. This is episode 95, Fruit Filled Living. We are back after a long break and eager to start season seven today. We’re devoting an entire season to fruitful living and today is sort of our introduction. We’ll be looking at many different Bible passages related to bearing fruit. Sharon, talk to me about this topic.

Sharon (00:49):

Well, there’s more on it than I thought there’d be. Let me tell you, it is definitely gonna fill the season.

Nicole (00:55):

Oh, good.

Sharon (00:56):

But let’s start simply, what’s your favorite fruit? Let’s talk about actual fruit before we talk about spiritual fruit.

Nicole (01:04):

Yeah. My favorite fruit, I do love apples.

Sharon (01:07):

Do you?

Nicole (01:07):

I do. I love them, but it’s really hard to find like a really good apple. I like the crispy sweet ones. (Sharon: Uhhuh) And I found at, um, butternut Farms, which is a little, a little farm near us.

Sharon (01:17):

I’ve been there. It’s beautiful.

Nicole (01:18):

Yes. It’s a beautiful farm. They have this whole giant chalkboard with every apple that they grow and a description about each one, like this one’s sweet and a little bit mushy, good for applesauce. This one is good for pies. This one’s good for et cetera. (Sharon: Wow) This one’s good for eating. So you can look and find like your perfect apple.

Sharon (01:36):

That perfect apple. (Nicole: Yeah) Isn’t it stunning? This is so like God. Snowflakes are individual. An apple is not just an apple. You have Macintosh and you have Gala. And I just got apples called Envy.

Nicole (01:48):

I’ve never heard of those.

Sharon (01:49):

What is an Envy apple? I don’t know. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m,

Nicole (01:52):

It’s like one that Eve would’ve gone after.

Sharon (01:53):

I’m a little suspicious about the title. I feel a little guilty having bought it. What is this envy apple.

Nicole (01:58):

You’ll have to tell me what it tastes like.

Sharon (02:01):

But my favorite fruit is always fruit in season. (Nicole: Oh yeah) Like a strawberry picked in the, what is it, June around here? (Nicole: Yeah) Best, best, best grapefruit when it’s fresh from Florida and not kind of wooden.

Nicole (02:16):

There’s a big difference between, (Sharon: there’s a huge difference) I do not like grapefruit from the store, but we had fresh grapefruit and it changed my life.

Sharon (02:22):

Oh yeah. You know why? Cause it was juicy, wasn’t it?

Nicole (02:25):

Yes. And it wasn’t as bitter and like hard and dry.

Sharon (02:27):

Mm-hmm. Yep. I’ve started to think about that, Nicole. And part of what makes fruit good is the amount of moisture in it. The amount of liquid in it. Strawberries that are juicy. (Nicole: Oh, true) The grapefruit that’s juicy. And I thought of living water. (Nicole: Yeah) The fact that Jesus gives us living water and, and when we’re, when we’re fresh because we’ve just been with him, our fruit is sweeter.

Nicole (02:51):

Oh I like that.

Sharon (02:51):

There’s my little analogy of the day to get us started.

Nicole (02:55):

That’s perfect though.

Sharon (02:57):

So anyways, let’s now talk about spiritual fruit. But I just thought, wow, there’s so much fruit and the best fruit is fresh from the vine, you know? (Nicole: Yes). That stayed close to the vine.

Nicole (03:06):

That hasn’t been transported and frozen. I love it. Well, there is a lot of correlation between actual fruit and the fruit that we’re gonna talk about today. The fruit that God gives us. So let’s talk about the fruit that God gives us.

Sharon (03:18):


Nicole (03:19):

You know, God gives us a purpose while we’re here on earth, we’re not just saved and we just kinda like hang out and wait for heaven. We have a job. We have a purpose here.

Sharon (03:27):

We do.

Nicole (03:27):

Yeah. And it’s really important.

Sharon (03:27):

We do. Absolutely. And it’s to be fruit bearers. (Nicole: Yes) That it’s so wonderful, Nicole, to think I will live here until my purpose is done. (Nicole: Yeah) God has a plan for me.

Nicole (03:38):


Sharon (03:39):

And it’s fruit bearing. Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole (03:40):

Absolutely. And sometimes our fruit, surprisingly isn’t always tangible.

Sharon (03:45):


Nicole (03:45):

And we will cover that more next week.

Sharon (03:47):

Oh, we sure will.

Nicole (03:48):

A cliff hanger.

Sharon (03:48):

We sure will. Yes. And sometimes you look good on the outside and you’re not on the inside.

Nicole (03:53):


Sharon (03:54):


Nicole (03:55):

You get a gross apple. But again, later next week,

Sharon (03:57):

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nicole (03:58):

And sometimes fruit bearing is hard.

Sharon (04:01):

It is.

Nicole (04:01):

Sometimes it’s hard to do.

Sharon (04:03):

It is. It’s gonna hurt. (Nicole: Yeah) Yeah. And we’re gonna learn about the hurting today. So I just, I just think it’s so crazy how too often we want to present Christianity as this soft, comfy, happy feeling, you know, all the time. And it is that because we have the Lord always with us, but he asks hard things of his disciples.

Nicole (04:24):


Sharon (04:25):

He does. And um, so we’re gonna get into that today. We’re gonna start with the basics. And it really doesn’t get much more basic than Jesus’ illustration of the vine and the branches, which is what we’re gonna look at today. It is so easy to think we can do stuff on our own and we just can’t. (Nicole: Nope) So we’re gonna study Jesus’ amazing message to his disciples in John 15 in just a moment. But first, would you set the stage for us? What’s going on at the time that Jesus talks about the vine and the branches?

Nicole (04:55):

This is kind of amazing. This is right before they’re headed to the Garden of Gethsemane and ultimately this horrible, painful, terrible death. So this is like moments before, it feels like they’re walking to the garden cause you have this chapter about the vine and the branches. Then there’s this chapter right after that, he talks about the Holy Spirit and then he prays for his disciples. (Sharon: Yes) And the chapter right before he goes to the garden. Uh, so I can just see Jesus sitting down and talking to them and it’s so beautiful, isn’t it? That even on the way to his death, he was still so burdened.

Sharon (05:27):

He’s still teaching!

Nicole (05:27):

With giving wisdom to his disciples. (Sharon: Yeah) Not trying to get out of it.

Sharon (05:31):


Nicole (05:32):

Or trying to hide, but telling them every little thing he could possibly get in before the end.

Sharon (05:36):

I love it, It was like me right before my girls went to college. Wait, I have more to tell you.

Nicole (05:41):

Wait, can you balance your checkbook yet?

Sharon (05:42):

Yes. Yes.

Nicole (05:43):

Do you know how to separate your clothes?

Sharon (05:44):

Are you sure you can do the laundry? Yeah. Yeah. It’s like he’s got all these last minute details. (Nicole: Yeah) And, and I mean it’s a long discourse (Nicole: Yes) on the way to the garden. He is just like, and this and this. And this. So I feel like the vine and the branches is hugely important. (Nicole: Right) He is trying to equip and prepare these disciples for what’s going to happen. (Nicole: Yeah) And he wants them to be fruit bearers.

Nicole (06:06):


Sharon (06:07):

He does. So, okay, let’s read about it. Let’s read it. Why don’t you start with verse one and we’ll go back and forth.

Nicole (06:13):

All right. So we’re reading from John 15. “So I am the true grapevine and my father is the gardener.”

Sharon (06:18):

“He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit. So they will produce even more.”

Nicole (06:26):

Hmm. “You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.”

Sharon (06:30):

“Remain in me and I will remain in you, for a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine. And you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”

Nicole (06:41):

“Yes, I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

Sharon (06:50):

“Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.”

Nicole (06:59):

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted.”

Sharon (07:05):

“When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”

Nicole (07:11):

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.”

Sharon (07:15):

“When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love. Just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.”

Nicole (07:22):

“I have told you these things that you’ll be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will be will overflow.”

Sharon (07:28):

“This is my commandment. Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”

Nicole (07:33):

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Sharon (07:37):

Oh my goodness. Can we stop there? He’s saying this right before he lays down his life. (Nicole: Yes) For his friends.

Nicole (07:42):

Can you feel that?

Sharon (07:43):

Like right before.

Nicole (07:44):

That weight. Yeah.

Sharon (07:45):

Wow. Okay. Back to verse 14. Woo. “You are my friends if you do what I command.”

Nicole (07:52):

“I no longer call you slaves because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends. Since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

Sharon (08:01):

“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.”

Nicole (08:11):

“This is my command. Love each other.”

Sharon (08:13):


Nicole (08:15):

It’s so good.

Sharon (08:16):

Yes. Let’s dig deeper now, Nicole, we’re gonna look at each section carefully and learn how we can bear fruit in God’s kingdom. And why don’t you just start, reread verse one and tell me what you think. We’ll go back and forth.

Nicole (08:29):

All right. This will be fun. So verse one is, “I am the true grapevine and my Father is the gardener.” So right off, I’m struck by Jesus’ humble heart. He’s acknowledging that God is the gardener. (Sharon: Mm-hmm) He’s giving God the authority to prune and to water and to grow as he will.

Sharon (08:46):

Yes. All the things.

Nicole (08:47):

So his humble heart is a really good thing that we should put ourselves into a place of as well. Like I’m not doing any of the growing, I’m here.

Sharon (08:54):

Right. Right.

Nicole (08:55):

You do that.

Sharon (08:56):

It’s interesting, you know, we’re the fruit, but we can’t do the fruit stuff, the branches, because we need the vine.

Nicole (09:03):


Sharon (09:03):

But Jesus chose to do everything his Father told him, cause his Father was the gardener. So there’s this like hierarchy thing going on when Jesus was on earth.

Nicole (09:11):

And he immediately established it.

Sharon (09:12):

Yeah, he did. He did. I love that.

Nicole (09:14):

I think that’s kind of cool.

Sharon (09:15):

Yeah. Okay. Verse two and three. I’m gonna read these two together cuz they kind of go together and this is an ‘ouch-y’ part.

Nicole (09:22):

Yeah it’s a little tricky.

Sharon (09:23):

Yes. It is. Hmm. “He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.” It’s a little ruthless here (Nicole: Yeah) isn’t it? Branches cut back or removed even. But you know why, that’s how important the fruit is. The gardener wants the branches to bear fruit and he will do even painful things because he wants the branches to fulfill their purpose.

Nicole (09:55):

Oh, absolutely.

Sharon (09:56):

Right? A branch is just this dead thing unless it does what it was made for. And we are just dead things if we’re not doing what we were made for. And so we’ve gotta be pruned. (Nicole: Yeah) We just do. And part of the pruning is listening to and obeying the message that God gives us. Doing things like choosing forgiveness. Not being offended, submitting to God, allowing hardness in our life. Like sometimes, (Nicole: Yes) you know, I’ll be, I remember when I was in Moms in Prayer, I was the national director, I was doing all these things. (Nicole: Yeah) And then Dad Gamble came in and lived with us. I got pruned. I could not do my job. I had to quit my job because I needed to take care of Dad Gamble. Which was absolutely more important than what I was doing, even though what I was doing was very visible and very fun (Nicole: Yeah) I needed to go home and take care of Dad. So we have to submit to the pruning, the cutting back.

Nicole (11:00):

Accept what he cuts off.

Sharon (11:01):

Right. So that we can bear more fruit later.

Nicole (11:04):


Sharon (11:05):


Nicole (11:05):

Have you ever seen a tree or a bush pruned like a fruit tree or a fruit bush pruned?

Sharon (11:10):

I’ve seen a grapevine pruned and it looks like a stump on the ground. I’m like, that will never flourish.

Nicole (11:17):

Yes. So my uncle in-law has a beautiful berry farm in Mechanic Falls. He grows blueberries and raspberries and strawberries and all the berries. So he was showing my mother-in-law how to prune her blueberry bushes. She has about 20 of them.

Sharon (11:31):

Wow. Uhhuh.

Nicole (11:32):

And she came up to me all excited going, come see my bushes. They look dead. They’re completely, he pruned off everything. And I’m like, oh no. She was like, let’s do it to yours too.

Sharon (11:41):

And you’re like back off Mother-in-law.

Nicole (11:41):

But my poor little blueberry bushes! So we did, we pruned them and it was, it’s very hard cause I’m cutting off things that have growth.

Sharon (11:50):


Nicole (11:51):

But the whole goal of what he told us us was all these little offshoots that are producing little blueberries, you cut ’em all off. (Sharon: Yeah) Because it sucks the energy, the energy from the stem and the roots that need to go into growth of the branches.

Sharon (12:04):

Really? Okay.

Nicole (12:05):

So you should only have so many main branches cause the plant can’t sustain more than, I think it was five or whatever. (Sharon: Uhhuh, uhhuh) So you’re cutting new growth and you’re cutting ruthlessly thinking you’re not gonna have any blueberries. I’m cutting off like blossoms that were gonna turn into blueberries.

Sharon (12:18):

You’re like, goodbye blueberries.

Nicole (12:19):

Goodbye blueberries. The first year was a little rough because it has to kind of heal.

Sharon (12:23):

Right. Right.

Nicole (12:23):

And put the energy where it’s supposed to go. The next year, my blueberry bushes were loaded this year.

Sharon (12:29):


Nicole (12:29):

I couldn’t, like it works. He wasn’t lying. But it was scary to trim everything off.

Sharon (12:35):

Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole (12:36):

So to to think about that in my own life, like what God is cutting off, that I’m putting energy into that really isn’t, you know, growing us where God wants us to be. (Sharon: Right) It’s hard cause it could be a good thing. It could be producing fruit, but little, you know, three blueberries. LIke not 10 blueberries, but three.

Sharon (12:50):

And not what he wants for you. (Nicole: Yes) The main branch, what he wants. Yeah. We can get really distracted by a lot of things and sometimes we need to be taken back to a stub.

Nicole (12:59):

Yes. And the plant does kind of bleed a little. It’s tough. So, anyway pruning is tough, but it’s necessary.

Sharon (13:05):

It is necessary. And it’s for greater good.

Nicole (13:08):

It really is.

Sharon (13:08):

That’s the thing we have to remember. Okay, you’ve asked me to step back. There’s a purpose in this. Let me draw close to you Lord, and fill me, fill me, fill me so that I can burst with blueberries again. Right?

Nicole (13:21):

Right. And that can be a sweet time too. That healing time where you are kind of sitting there in the stillness with God going, oh, you took all these things away that I thought were producing fruit. So what, where do I need to grow now?

Sharon (13:30):

Yes. And we listen better.

Nicole (13:32):

We do.

Sharon (13:33):

Because, we’ve been pruned. You know, it’s like, okay, so what do you want cause I thought I knew. (Nicole: Right) Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

Nicole (13:39):

Very interesting. So the next verses are verses four and five. “Remain in me and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit is if it is severed from the vine. And you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes. I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” So this reminds me of when I was homeschooling the girls, we talked about these verses and we went and found a plant that was growing in our house and we pulled off a leaf and we just put it by itself on the side and said, let’s see how this leaf does.

Sharon (14:13):

Oh, how does it do?

Nicole (14:14):

It died very quickly. (Sharon: Yes) It turned brown and crusty. And, and it was such a good illustration for the girls to see that like, oh, this leaf might wanna grow, but it can’t, it’s dead. Like as soon as we disconnect from God, we can do nothing. He mentions it several times in this passage.

Sharon (14:28):

He does over and over. And he’s pretty clear, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

Nicole (14:33):

Nothing. Not like, well, you’ll do okay. No, you can do nothing without him.

Sharon (14:38):

Nothing. Absolutely.

Nicole (14:38):

We are as useless as a dead leaf.

Sharon (14:40):

What a great illustration. Yes. The leaf died fast.

Nicole (14:42):

It did, without nutrients.

Sharon (14:45):

Of course it did. That living water is necessary.

Nicole (14:49):

Yes, it is.

Sharon (14:49):

For everything. I love that Jesus calls himself living water. I do.

Nicole (14:53):

That is really cool.

Sharon (14:53):

I love the word remain too. It means, it implies you could wander away.

Nicole (14:58):


Sharon (14:58):

And, and he’s like, no, no, no. Stay. (Nicole: Yes) Stay close. Stay close. Stay close. Over and over. The other word for it is abide. (Nicole: Yes). Live with me.

Nicole (15:08):


Sharon (15:08):

Be attached to me. We have to stay attached.

Nicole (15:11):

Yeah. That’s the only way to live.

Sharon (15:11):

Yeah. So, okay. Verse six is a tricky one. ” Anyone, Says Jesus, who does not remain in me, is thrown away like a useless branch and withers, such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.” Okay. So this is sobering. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) This is sobering. If we are not attached to him, bad things are going to happen to us. (Nicole: Yeah. Yeah) They really are. We have to have that living water. We are gonna wither. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) And I thought about it because it almost sounds like, well, but if I was attached to you, I thought I could, I could never lose you. You know, what does that mean, Lord? Does that mean I can lose my salvation? And I remembered a passage in 1 Corinthians:3. So I actually, I have my Bible right here.

Nicole (15:54):

Oh, good.

Sharon (15:54):

And I’m gonna read us, um, verses 10 through 15 in 1 Corinthians 3, because it kind of dovetails with this a lot. And I think it’s a really important one. So this is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians, “Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful for, no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have. Jesus Christ.” So that’s the foundation. And if we’re attached to the vine, if we’ve chosen the vine, (Nicole: Yes) We have chosen Christ. (Nicole: Right) “Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials, gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value, if the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved. But like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”

Nicole (16:58):


Sharon (16:59):

Isn’t that something?

Nicole (17:00):

That is intense.

Sharon (17:01):

We’ve been given Christ.

Nicole (17:02):


Sharon (17:02):

That’s the foundation. We’re to build on it. We’re to bear fruit. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) If we don’t bear fruit, we will still be saved but as through fire. We want the ‘well done’, you know?

Nicole (17:13):

We do.

Sharon (17:14):

We do. And somehow in heaven, it’s gonna matter what work we did. We’ll still get there. (Nicole: Right) We’ll still be loved in all this stuff, but we need to produce for him, you know? (Nicole: Right) We’re, we’re so in this ministry about resting, which he lets us do. (Nicole: Yes) And nestling close, which is so sweet. But he also asks us to bear fruit and he, he means it. (Nicole: Right) I guess that’s what verse six says to me. I mean it.

Nicole (17:42):

It’s not a suggestion.

Sharon (17:42):

I mean it.

Nicole (17:43):

Right. Like, oh, if you’re cozy, you can bear some fruit. (Sharon: Right) You need to bear fruit.

Sharon (17:46):

You need to do it. (Nicole: Yeah) Yeah. Or you’ll wither and you’ll have nothing to show for yourself when you get to heaven.

Nicole (17:52):

Yeah. That’s right.

Sharon (17:52):

And you’ll get there. But as through fire. I don’t even wanna think about what that means.

Nicole (17:57):


Sharon (17:58):


Nicole (17:58):

Were you there this Sunday when Pastor Yves showed that little clip about—

Sharon (18:02):

Yes. I was thinking of that too. The Francis Chan clip where (Nicole: Yes) he’s like, instead of walking on the balance beam and everything, he’s clinging to it, just trying to not fall off.

Nicole (18:12):

Right. Just do a nice, safe, you know, easy life. And then you stand before the Lord and go ‘ta-da’ with your arms up and,

Sharon (18:18):

And you’ve done nothing.

Nicole (18:18):

You’ve done nothing. (Sharon: Yeah) But just, and that was so convicting. Oh my goodness.

Sharon (18:22):

So convicting.

Nicole (18:22):

Yeah. And I feel like we should really take that from this as well. You know, if you’re not willing to be pruned and bear fruit. That does not sound fun. I don’t want to be withered and thrown away.

Sharon (18:30):

No, no. I’d rather be pruned. I don’t wanna be chopped off.

Nicole (18:33):

No. No thank you.

Sharon (18:34):

Yeah. You may prune me.

Nicole (18:36):


Sharon (18:36):

Yes. Okay. Moving on.

Nicole (18:38):

So how do we avoid this? I like verse seven. Cause it gives us a little bit of a like how to avoid six. “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted if we say attached to the vine, to the living water, the power that he gives us to do what he calls us to do is limitless.” Anything we want. (Sharon: Yeah) It’ll be granted. (Sharon: Yeah) We forget that we have that untapped power of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Sharon (19:06):


Nicole (19:06):

And if he calls us to bear fruit, he’s actually producing the fruit. It’s not us. We’re just (Sharon: Mm-hmm) hanging out, growing it.

Sharon (19:12):

Yes, exactly.

Nicole (19:13):

And abiding, we’re abiding.

Sharon (19:15):

Yeah. Sucking up the nutrients. That’s it. Gimme more nutrients. Yes. That’s so true.

Nicole (19:19):

And it’s him that does the, that does the growing and the increase. So even through that, it requires us still just to remain, to be there and to grow with him. And he’s still, he produces the fruit.

Sharon (19:29):

He does it.

Nicole (19:30):

So cool.

Sharon (19:31):

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s not stressful. (Nicole: Right). You just have to stay close.

Nicole (19:34):

Right. We don’t have have to sit here and try to say, well what fruit do I need to produce specifically?

Sharon (19:39):

Yeah. There’s not a, a panic thing. (Nicole: Yes) Right. Right. Which is good. Yeah.

Nicole (19:42):

It is very good.

Sharon (19:43):

Yeah. Verse eight. “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” Oh my goodness. He wants us to produce much fruit. And that those are the ones that are his special disciples, Right?

Nicole (19:58):

Oh yes.

Sharon (19:58):

They’re the ones that bring glory to the Father. Jesus spent his whole earthly life desiring to bring glory to the Father. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) And we’re, a disciple is a follower. (Nicole: Yes) They do what the rabbi does. (Nicole: Right) So we also wanna bring glory to the Father. And how do we do that? By staying attached to the only one who can produce the fruit through us. And then we can be just as amazed when the little grapes show up as anybody. Right.

Nicole (20:22):

Cause we know we had nothing to do with it.

Sharon (20:23):

Nothing to do with it except staying close. Like, whoa, look at that fruit. So there’s no pride in it. (Nicole: Right) It’s when we walk away that we wither.

Nicole (20:31):

That’s true.

Sharon (20:32):

So, there’s just this humble, use me Lord. (Nicole: Yeah) Just use me and if you want it, use me in Mom’s in Prayer? Great. If you wanna use me taking care of one older man who needs a lot of care (Nicole: Yeah) use me. It’s up to him what kind of fruit we’re gonna bear and which seasons of life. So.

Nicole (20:51):

That’s so true. That reminds me of the jars of clay where he makes us and he decides what we’re used for. Some are (Sharon: That’s right) probably to hold pretty flowers. And some were used as chamber pots, so God chooses where to use us and when and we just have to be willing to,

Sharon (21:03):

That’s right. And we’re just the pot.

Nicole (21:06):

Yep. Just a little old pot. So verse nine says, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me, remain in my love.” That’s a great love, isn’t it?

Sharon (21:16):


Nicole (21:17):

He loves us as much as God loves him.

Sharon (21:20):

That’s huge love.

Nicole (21:21):

Love as a father to a child. Like we love, you have children, you know, I have children. That love, that mother’s love is so strong, but God’s love is pure and he is love. So his love is a hundred times more strong than our love can be.

Sharon (21:33):

Yes, yes, yes,

Nicole (21:34):

So that’s really cool. And then I see the ‘remain in my love’, like, well what does that mean? But verse 10 kind of explains what that means. Like what does it mean to remain in his love? How do we remain in God’s love?

Sharon (21:45):

Well, I’m glad you asked. I’m going to read verse 10.

Nicole (21:47):


Sharon (21:47):

“When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love. Just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” Jesus on earth walked in obedience. (Nicole: Yes) He did.

Nicole (22:00):

Up until death.

Sharon (22:01):

Yeah. Until death, which he’s about to have. (Nicole: Yes) And he’s in the garden saying, if there’s any other way, take this cup from me. But not my will (cause Jesus’ will at that point, his human will was No, no, no, no, no, no. I don’t not want this). (Nicole: Yeah) But he wanted God’s will more. It’s so beautiful. So we need to obey. The way. to stay near, the way to remain, is obedience. Sin separates us from him. Bitter hearts are made proud and God is not close to the prideful.

Nicole (22:30):

Mm-hmm. He’s close to the humble.

Sharon (22:31):

Right. You know, and the unforgiving. He’s pretty clear that we need to have soft hearts toward him and obedient hearts to stay close to God. We have to be always, confessing sin and, and getting back to where we need to be with him. And he welcomes us over and over, but we do need to walk in obedience. Or we’re gonna be far away from him. We just are. (Nicole: Yeah). So.

Nicole (22:55):

And I want to be in his love. Being, remaining in his love sounds like a beautiful place to be. Even if it requires some work and some obedience, confessions.

Sharon (23:02):

It does. Yes. Yeah. We’re not remaining in his anger. (Nicole: Yeah) We’re remaining in his love. Staying close means we’re loved.

Nicole (23:08):


Sharon (23:09):

It’s cool. It’s worth giving up some bitterness.

Nicole (23:11):

I think so. (Sharon: Yeah) It sounds like a good exchange. Well and then verse 11 even it says, “I have told you these things that you’ll be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow.” So obedience equals remaining in love equals Jesus’s joy that will overflow in us. So again, sounds like a pretty good trade up.

Sharon (23:29):

It’s pretty happy. Yeah. Yeah. Bitter people are not happy.

Nicole (23:32):


Sharon (23:32):

Unforgiving people are not happy. (Nicole: No) People that fly into rages are not happy.

Nicole (23:38):

People hiding in their sin, not going to confess, to confess to God. That’s such an unhappy place to be.

Sharon (23:43):

It is. Yeah. There’s joy in remaining with God.

Nicole (23:46):


Sharon (23:46):

I love that God is a joy God.

Nicole (23:49):


Sharon (23:49):

You know, not a dour, must be serious all the time and feel, you know, deeply about things. We can smile, we can laugh, we can be full of joy. So I love it. So, okay, verse 12, “This is my commandment. Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” Said right before Jesus lays down his life for his friends.

Nicole (24:15):


Sharon (24:15):

We are called, here’s the pruning, we are called to sacrificial love.

Nicole (24:19):


Sharon (24:20):

So that’s verse 12.

Nicole (24:22):

Sacrificial love is tough. (Sharon: And 13) So (verse) 14 says, “You are my friends, if you do what I command, I no longer call you slaves because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends since I have told you everything the Father told me.” Wow. We are friends with Jesus.

Sharon (24:39):

That is so amazing!

Nicole (24:41):

Just marinate on that for a minute. Like, wow. It’s just that, to imagine him as a friend is, it’s hard to imagine cause you do think of him as so high and holy.

Sharon (24:50):


Nicole (24:51):

But he calls us his friends.

Sharon (24:52):

Yes. He wants to be that close.

Nicole (24:53):

That’s amazing.

Sharon (24:54):

He wants us to tell secrets to him.

Nicole (24:56):


Sharon (24:57):

And get him, like he gets us.

Nicole (24:58):

Tell about our good days and our bad days. (Sharon: Yes) And the little things. (Sharon: Yes) And that always really struck me when I first came to Christ too. He cared about the little things too, like, do you really care about this, Lord? This seems so silly. Like it’s not a big thing, you know?

Sharon (25:09):


Nicole (25:09):

It’s not cancer.

Sharon (25:10):

Don’t friends care about little things? They sure enough do.

Nicole (25:12):

Yeah. He’s such a good friend. (Sharon: Yeah. Yeah) And isn’t this cool? He says, um, now that you are my friends, I have told you everything the Father told me. Whoa. That’s just really interesting to me.

Sharon (25:22):

Yeah. That’s the telling each other’s secrets. (Nicole: Yeah) Jesus, Jesus told all the things. It’s so beautiful.

Nicole (25:27):

Very cool.

Sharon (25:27):

It is. I love it. I love it. Okay. Verse 16, he’s being really clear. “You didn’t choose me, ” and they didn’t, remember?They were fishing, they were selling, you don’t sell taxes, you take taxes. They were taking in taxes. You know, all the things the disciples were doing. And Jesus was the one that chose them and said, I chose you. I follow you. “So 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.” Wowzers. Here we are back to, Hey, if you stay attached to me, if you start to know what I want, you can ask for it. You can pray for it and be given it.

Nicole (26:10):


Sharon (26:11):

You know, if you’re far away, you might be wanting the wrong things. (Nicole: Right) And you’re not going to get ’em. (NIcole: Right) But if you stay close, your heart is aligned with God’s and you want people to come to salvation.

Nicole (26:22):


Sharon (26:22):

You, you want to let go of the bitterness that has taken ahold of your heart. (Nicole: Yeah) And you ask in his name and he helps you with it.

Nicole (26:29):

Oh, for sure.

Sharon (26:30):

It’s a beautiful thing. And he wants lasting fruit. And I I just love that. I, I pray for that a lot when I’m speaking. Fruit that lasts, Lord. Not just, oh, that was a fun retreat. I’m gonna go home now and forget it in two days.

Nicole (26:44):


Sharon (26:44):

Just some fruit that lasts, something that makes each of us that are there, um, wanna love him more, serve him better, hear whatever specific calling he has for us at that time. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) We want lasting fruit in the lives of our kids too.

Nicole (26:58):

Oh yes. (Sharon: Yeah) Yeah. That’s, how can we have lasting fruit? The last verse. “This is my command. Love each other.” So I think about that. Like that’s, that is one way that we produce fruit. If we’re staying in him. Where, you know, it reminds me of like when I’m trying to eat healthy, like the first couple days is tough, and then when I start eating fruits and vegetables and whole foods, I get a taste for them and I long for those.

Sharon (27:21):

Yes. Good point.

Nicole (27:22):

If we remain in God, we’re longing for the good things. So we will ask in his name for what he wants us to ask for. What’s good for us and good for those around us.

Sharon (27:30):

Right. Right.

Nicole (27:30):

But if we’re not, if we’re away and just eating junk food, you don’t want the good things as much.

Sharon (27:34):

No. You want more junk food.

Nicole (27:36):

You want more junk food.

Sharon (27:37):

Yes. That’s a sad thing about it. (Nicole: It is) You have one piece and you want 17 more, which is where you get into trouble with junk food.

Nicole (27:43):


Sharon (27:43):


Nicole (27:43):

So it’s kind of like the same thing with, with being close to God, the closer we are with him, that then he’s going to give us that appetite for the things of him.

Sharon (27:51):

Yes. Yes.

Nicole (27:51):

He’s, we’re gonna desire those things more and love each other. It’ll be easier to love each other. (Sharon: Mm-hmm) Because we’ll be feeding ourselves from God. And that’s the living water, which is filled with love.

Sharon (28:01):

It is.

Nicole (28:01):

And grace and mercy. And we can pour that out on others around us. (Sharon: Yes) Instead of just like growing, or my trying to grow the little leaf in my angry soil by myself, eating junk food.

Sharon (28:11):

Right. Oh, that picture. Oh man. But to stay attached means love, means joy. It means purpose.

Nicole (28:22):


Sharon (28:23):

We’re gonna unpack this, you know, season, the purpose, the fruit bearing, the things that we bring with us into eternity because we sure don’t bring our nice little house. (Nicole: Right) Right? Or even, you know, our buff bodies, they get older as we get old and less buff with age. But what we do bring is the fruit. (Nicole: Yeah) And I’m just so excited to unpack it. But let’s pray from our introduction. Oh, heavenly Father, we acknowledge that you are the Gardener. You get to choose what kind of fruit we bear. You get to choose what soil we’re in, get to choose when to prune us. That is your beautiful responsibility and our pleasure and privilege to receive it. And Lord Jesus, thank you that you want us so close that you call us friends, that you pour into us living water so that we can just watch with awe at what you do in us because we have remained, stayed, abided with you. Oh Lord. during this season of study help us to be fruit bearers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nicole (29:47):

Amen. Well, thanks for joining us on this new adventure as we explore what it means to live a fruit filled life. Even though, even though that pruning can be painful, the joy of producing good fruit for God’s kingdom is definitely worth it. Speaking of new adventures, we’d love for you to consider joining us in September for the Refuge 2023 Retreat in beautiful New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. We’ll have three days and two nights together studying the word, enjoying the beauty of early fall in New England and worshiping all together in one place. To learn more, go to and look for Refuge Retreat 2023. All the information is right there. We’re always grateful for comments, donations, and reviews as well. Thanks for listening. And join us next time for a talk on discernment. How do we know our fruit is good and not bad? Join us for Episode 96, Good Fruit, Bad Fruit. Have a great week.

Speaker 1 (30:42):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be Thank you for joining us.


You can download and print the transcript here.

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