“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 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.” John 15:1-4 NLT
I happened to look up into our huge oak tree in the front yard and noticed a large portion of one branch that was completely dead. I kept staring at it because something about it just didn’t look right. Every other part of that branch was alive and green except that one large piece. Finally I saw it. It must have come off the branch above it, probably in a previous storm, and had come to rest in the crook of a limb where it now lay.
I remembered this as I read this passage; when a branch dies, it’s because it’s becomes separated from it’s life source. It’s no longer good for anything but to feed a fire. In fact, that’s just what Jesus said in the following verses 5-8:
“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. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch that withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”
What’s that mean, ‘remain in me’? Rooted and grounded in Love. If God is Love and the Father and Jesus are one, that makes Jesus Love. If we are attached to Him, our fruit will be Love. I can’t give out anything other than what I’m attached to. A corn stalk would look pretty silly with pea pods all over them. If love isn’t our fruit, we’re not attached to Jesus.
At all costs, you must stay connected to the life giving vine. His Words have that much power that we can literally ask what we want and it’s done. That’s strong! So strong that in the biggest storm, with the biggest winds, it holds us onto the vine. Love does that. Paul said these words found in Romans 8:38-39;
“So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!”
True disciples are Love. They hold on for dear life to that Love so that they bear the fruit of Love. True disciples use the Word of Love to get what they need to build the Kingdom of Love. True disciples always live their lives of Love to bring glory to the Father.
Be Fruitful in Love,