“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” (John 15:16).

I am convinced by Scripture there is only one core purpose for all believers. Our specific callings are gathered up in this single purpose, and every gift springs from it. If we miss this purpose, all our desires and pursuits will be in vain. This purpose is simply this: we are all called and chosen to bear fruit.

Bearing fruit means something much larger than even soul-winning. The fruit Jesus is talking about is Christlikeness, reflecting the likeness of Jesus. And the phrase “much fruit” means “the ever-increasing likeness of Christ.”

Growing more and more into Jesus’ likeness has to be central to all our activities, lifestyle and relationships. Indeed, all our gifts and callings — our work, ministry and witness — must flow out of this core purpose.

God’s purpose for us cannot be fulfilled by what we do for Christ, it can only be fulfilled by what we are becoming in him. We are becoming transformed into his likeness each day as we seek him.

“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Paul’s message here is simple: “All things ought to be working out for good in the lives of those who love God and walk in his ways.”

The most useful people in the church of Jesus Christ are those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Yes, some people are doing great things that are seen and heard by many, but some of those same people don’t have eyes to see the needs of hurting people. They are project-oriented rather than need-oriented.

Jesus sees all the needs and hurts around us and we need his eyes to see the same things. This is the love of Christ: to have “eyes to see and ears to hear.”

May you have ears to hear what God is saying to you and may you love others in deed and in truth.