John 15:1-8 ERV;
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He also trims every branch that produces fruit to prepare it to produce even more. You have already been prepared to produce more fruit by the teaching I have given you. Stay joined to me and I will stay joined to you. No branch can produce fruit alone. It must stay connected to the vine. It is the same with you. You cannot produce fruit alone. You must stay joined to me.
“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I to you, you will produce plenty of fruit. But separated from me you won’t be able to do anything. If you don’t stay joined to me, you will be like a branch that has been thrown out and has dried up. All the dead branches like that are gathered up, thrown into the fire and burned. Stay joined together with me, and follow my teachings. If you do this, you can ask for anything you want, and it will be given to you. Show that you are my followers by producing much fruit. This will bring honor to my Father.”
How many know that if something is really important, it’s repeated. So in these scriptures above, Jesus wants us to know that he is the vine. What does the vine do? It gives life to the branches which produce fruit. We cannot produce without being attached to the vine. What keeps us attached to the vine? Producing fruit, right? If we’re not connected to the vine, we’re dead weight, unproductive and the Gardner (God the Father) will gather us up and throw it in the burn pile. Would our loving Father do that? That seems so wrong, Sandy!
You deceive yourself if you think God wouldn’t do what he said he would do. If you know anything at all about growing grapes, you’ll understand why this must be done. I encourage you to google it, then read this scripture again, it will make so much sense to you. But the part I want to focus on this morning is this one part, “You have already been prepared to produce more fruit by the teaching I have given you. Stay joined to me and I will stay joined to you.” If we want to produce, we must place value on Jesus’ teaching. It must be our nourishment each and everyday. Nothing we do alone is of any value to the Kingdom of God. it’s only when we stay connected to Jesus that we produce.
Prune me, oh God, that I may produce and keep on producing. Each time I hear your Word and it teaches me the error of my own ways, I’m reminded that you’re helping me to be more productive. I’ve watched too many people try to do it on their own. They rely on self effort instead of what you did. They still think they must do good to get good, keep the letter of the law, tow the line! But you fulfilled the old and gave us new. The fruit of the Spirit is what we must produce and if we do not, we must be taken out of the way so that only healthy, fruit bearing branches remain.
I want to remain connected, getting what I need from you. I want to love because you are Love. I want to be patient because you are patient. I want to heal the sick because you healed the sick. I want to raise the dead because you raised the dead. I want to teach the truth of your Word because you taught it. I want to be just like you when I grow up, but I can’t do it on my own. Thank you for making the way. Thank you that I can call on you and you answer. Thank you that when I have a need, I can ask you and you won’t withhold from me. Thank you for making me fruitful in all I do. It’s for your glory. It’s to honor your Father. Amen!