Go and Bear Fruit


www.coopersincroatia.com

While I was at home today for lunch, I was messaging back and forth with one of my best friends about how the support raising process was going. I told him that we've received advice from two different schools of thought.

First school: "Don't buy your plane tickets and finalize your plans to go until you've raised 100% of your support. Doing so any earlier would be foolish."

Second school: "Go ahead and buy your plane tickets now. Set a date and go for it. God has called you, so step out in faith and trust in His provision."

I've always leaned toward the second school of thought. It is just the way I'm wired. 

I'm aware that faith can be mistaken for foolishness; that trusting in God can look like carelessness. I'm also aware that some have acted impulsively, planned poorly, and harmed others unnecessarily in the name of "faith". This is the tension I wrestle with in these kinds of situations. Like the father in Mark 9 whose son was possessed by an impure spirit, I confess: "I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief."   

After reading one of the text messages from my friend about how God provided for him during his ministry in China even though he was never officially 100% funded, I noticed this Scripture that Susie had placed on the window in our kitchen:  

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

-John 15:16, NIV

These words were such an immediate encouragement to my soul. First off, what a great reminder that I didn't choose Jesus, but He chose me. He loves me and He loves you enough to choose us! 

And not only, did He choose us, but He appointed us to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last! He's given us purpose and invited us into the work of His Kingdom. This is such good news!

Then these words: 

"Whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you." 

Wow! What an incredible promise of provision! I'm afraid I've asked for too little in my lifetime... that my faith has been too small. But why wouldn't I want to take Jesus at His word? So in that moment, I stopped and and prayed these words:

"Jesus, I can't believe that you chose me... somehow I don't feel worthy, but I'm thankful you love me enough and that your grace is enough that you did... that you do. 

Thank you so much for calling me, for appointing me to go and bear fruit... fruit that will last! I want to go and bear fruit for you and your kingdom! 

And thank you for your promise that whatever I ask in your name, the Father will give me. 

I'm asking for your provision and for all the resources we need to go and bear fruit in Croatia in name of Jesus. 

I'm asking for the ability to learn the language so that we can communicate the Gospel, so that we can communicate your love for the people we meet, and for your glory in the name of Jesus. 

I'm asking for you to be glorified in this process and in this ministry you've called us to in the name of Jesus. 

Amen."

Then, I immediately texted my friend and Susie to share this Scripture with them so that it might encourage them also. I hope in sharing this post, you'll be blessed as well. 

Love you guys,

John

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