Reborn to reproduce

Reborn to reproduce

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. – John 15:16

John 5:24 I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

John 1:12 But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name– he has given the right to become God’s children

On the afternoon of June 18, 1956, ten people were in a power boat on Schroon Lake. Suddenly a wave struck the boat, hurtling two of them into the water, a young girl and Dawson Trotman. Dawson held the young girl above water long enough for her to be rescued. Dawson however, drowned. Time magazine published his obituary, with the caption under Dawson’s picture, “Always holding someone up.”

The Father took Dawson home at the time appointed by Him in eternity past. Dawson had spent 30 years in Christian ministry. He founded the Navigators which focused on discipleship and Bible memory. But things did not begin that well for Trotman.

His father was an atheistic cowboy who wound up living in Arizona. Trotman was on a  fast gallop down the same dusty trail, until the Father intervened. He was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The policeman asked, “Do you like this kind of life?”

Trotman replied, “Sir, I hate it.” Three hours later, he sobered up. He made a pledge to do better and the policeman returned his keys to him.

He soon found himself in a church and began memorizing Scripture. He memorized John 5:24. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life . . .” He realized that he did not have eternal life. He prayed, “O God, whatever that means, I want to have it.”

A verse flashed into his mind, “But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them he gave the power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” Immediately, Dawson pleaded with God, “Whatever it means to receive Jesus, I do it right now.”

His life changed. And he began to devour the word of God, memorizing as he went. He taught a sailor named Les Spencer how to live for Christ. Another sailor asked Spencer what was the secret that changed his life. Spencer brought the man to Trotman and asked him to teach the other sailor. Trotman told Spencer, “You teach him!” That was the beginning of the Navigators. It was 1933.

Spencer and his shipmate were soon teaching 125 men aboard the USS West Virginia. They in turn, taught others aboard many other ships. Lamentably, several of those ships were destined to be sunk at Pearl Harbor.

At the core of his ministry were many important scriptures, one that stands out is, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you” (John 15:16)

Dawson Trotman was born and then reborn to reproduce.

What about the rest of us?


“Soul winners are not soul winners because of what they know, but because of Who they know, and how well they know Him, and how much they long for others to know Him” (Dawson Trotman).

Father thank You for choosing us to be Your children. Thank you for inviting us into the family business of redemption. Please enable us to go and bring forth lasting fruit.


John 15:15-16

 15 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.

 16 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.

Attempt to try to grasp the magnitude of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done. It is seemingly incredible! He has invited us to be friends with Him. More than that, He has already made friends with us. He declares succinctly, “now you are my friends” (John 15:15). He initiated the friendship. How should we respond to such a magnificent offer of friendship with the Son of God? At the top of the list is shouting out, “Yes! A thousand times Yes!”

I can’t think of a better, BFF, can you?  

What kind of fruit is the Lord Jesus Christ talking about? Perhaps we need to ask another question first. It will help us to gain a better perspective. What kind of business is the Father God in? He is in the redemption business! He desires that no one should perish, but that everyone would come to possess eternal life. He offers eternal life to all.

Revelation 22:17 Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.

The Father has invited us to become His partners in His family business of inviting His children to come to Him. We have been appointed to go and produce lasting fruit. Lasting fruit are people just like us. They hear the message, and come to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in faith. “Jesus chose us, first to come to him, and then to go out to the world. And that must be the daily pattern and rhythm of our lives” (Barclay).

Do you think it is possible for us to make the Father happy? Is it possible for us to bring great glory to the Father? Can we glorify Him by our actions? And if so, what actions would they be?

John 15:8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

What do we have to do to bear much fruit? Jesus told us how to do it.

John 15:1-5

 1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.

 4 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.

 5 “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.

In some remarkable way, we have become fused to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the vine and we are His branches. We are united with Him. Grapes only grow on the branches, not the central stalk or vine. In order for there to be fruit, branches are necessary. But what must the branches do?

Just be branches and “hang in there.” He does the rest. “Continue to be a part of me even as I am a part of you” or “continue to be joined to me even as I will remain joined to you” (UBS). The result is much fruit.

“He called us to be his partners. Slaves could never be partners. A slave was defined in Greek law as a living tool. The master never opened his mind to a slave. Slaves simply had to do what they were told without reason and without explanation. But Jesus said: ‘You are not my slaves; you are my partners. I have told you everything; I have told you what I am trying to do, and why I am trying to do it. I have told you everything which God told me.’ Jesus has given us the honor of making us partners in His task. He has shared His mind with us and opened His heart to us. The tremendous choice laid before us is that we can accept or refuse partnership with Christ in the work of leading the world to God” (Barclay).


2 thoughts on “Reborn to reproduce

  1. Troutman was quite a servant of the Father. Some of his best friends were Billy Graham and Bill Bright. Dawson was Billy Graham’s go to guy for conversations and prayer about ministry and service. And of course, the 4 Spiritual Laws are an extrapolation of Dawson Troutman’s core thoughts and teachings.
    While most of us memorize a few scripture verses, Navigators frequently memorize chapters, if not books of the Bible.

    To me the most remarkable part of the story was that he memorized the Scriptures before he ever believed in them or the Lord Jesus Christ. And it was through the reading and recall of the Scriptures, that he came to receive Christ as his Savior and Lord and become a child of God and receive eternal life.

    Truly, “the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12).


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