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Friday, May 10, 1996

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Acts 15:22-31
Psalm 57
John 15:12-17

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the cross is a fruit tree

"It was I Who chose you to go forth and bear fruit." —John 15:16

The Lord commands, graces, and chooses us to bear fruit which is abundant (Jn 15:5) and lasting (Jn 15:16). This means that we are chosen to lead many people to a total commitment to the Lord and to disciple them so deeply that they will persevere in their commitment.

We bear this abundant, lasting fruit not by our power or efforts but by abiding in the Lord and letting Him abide in us (Jn 15:5). We bear abundant, lasting fruit both by being slaves of Jesus who obey Him even when we don't understand Him, and by being friends of Jesus who know what our Master is about (Jn 15:15). We bear fruit by letting the Lord trim us clean by His word (Jn 15:2-3). Ultimately, we bear the right quantity and quality of fruit by loving one another, even to the point of laying down our lives for each other (Jn 15:13). We bear fruit by denying our very selves, taking up the cross each day, and following Jesus (Lk 9:23). Jesus proclaims: "I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit" (Jn 12:24).

The cross is the only fruit tree that bears abundant, lasting fruit. Bear the cross; bear fruit.

Prayer:  Father, may I love You so much that I will die to bear fruit for You.

Promise:  "When it was read there was great delight at the encouragement it gave." —Acts 15:31

Praise:  Warren made a commitment to the Lord to pray daily for a friend until he gave his life to Jesus. Warren was faithful to this commitment, and thirty years later, his friend accepted Jesus as his Lord, Savior, and God.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995