God promises to give you whatever you ask for... but there's a catch.
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John 15 (ESV)
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2 Every branch in me
that does not bear fruit
he takes away,
and every branch that does bear fruit
that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in me,
and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine, neither can you,
unless you abide in me.
5 I am the vine;
you are the branches.
abides in me
and I in him,
he it is
that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in me
he is thrown away like a branch and withers;
and the branches
thrown into the fire,
you abide in me,
and my words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish,
and it will be done for you.
8 By this my Father is glorified,
that you bear much fruit
and so prove to be my disciples.
9 As the Father has loved me,
so have I loved you.
Abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments,
you will abide in my love,
just as I
have kept my Father’s commandments
and abide in his love.
11 These things I have spoken to you,
that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full.
12 “This is my commandment,
that you love one another
as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this,
that someone lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends
if you do what I command you.
15 No longer do I call you servants,
for the servant does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends,
for all that I have heard from my Father
I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me,
but I chose you
and appointed you
that you should go and bear fruit
and that your fruit should abide,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name,
he may give it to you.
17 These things
I command you,
so that you will love one another.
18 “If the world hates you,
that it has hated me
before it hated you.
19 If you were of the world,
the world would love you as its own;
but because you are not of the world,
but I chose you out of the world,
therefore the world hates you.
20 Remember the word that I said to you:
‘A servant is not greater than his master.’
they persecuted me,
they will also persecute you.
they kept my word,
they will also keep yours.
21 But all these things
they will do
on account of my name,
because they do not know him who sent me.
I had not come and spoken to them,
they would not have been guilty of sin,
but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also.
I had not done among them the works that no one else did,
they would not be guilty of sin,
but now they
have seen and hated
both me and my Father.
25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled:
‘They hated me without a cause.’
26 “But when the Helper comes,
whom I will send to you
from the Father,
the Spirit of truth,
who proceeds from the Father,
he will bear witness about me.
27 And you also will bear witness,
because you have been with me from the beginning.
John 15 Summary
We can't know for sure, but based on the last verse of chap 14 ("Come now, let us leave"), it's likely that Jesus spoke these words as He and the disciples walked through vineyards on the way from the Upper Room to the Garden of Gethsemane. In the early springtime, the grapes have just been pruned, making a vivid contrast between the remaining branches and those thrown on the burn pile.
If a healthy grape vine is planted in good soil, and is given plenty of sunshine and water at just the right times, it can not help but to bear grapes. It's in its DNA; in a sense, a planted grape vine must bear fruit. So it is, says Jesus, of His followers: a Christian, planted in the good soil of a church, fed and watered with regular doses of the means of grace (preaching & sacraments), can not help but to bear fruit. If a Christian is not bearing fruit (doing good works), it's a sign that the conditions she's in need immediate improvement.
Technically, vines do not produce fruit, rather they bear fruit, which is the word John uses. As we saw in the last paragraph, the grape vine doesn't do something to make grapes, rather the grapes passively come naturally. You are not called to produce good works. That's what the Pharisees were trying to do: they were actively trying to fabricate works that made them look better. Rather, you've been called to passively bear the fruit of good works.
In other words, take care to make sure you're planted in the right conditions and being regularly fed with God's Word, and then the fruit will come quite naturally (although often you won't even notice - see the parable of the sheep and goats).
AAA Prayer :
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father in heaven, who loves you (v9)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will keep yourself in good growing conditions, fed and watered by God's Word, so that you will go and bear fruit that will last (v16)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: If you're abiding in Christ, and His words are abiding in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will