ABIDING IN CHRIST, WE BEAR FRUIT FOR THE KINGDOM
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” — John 15:5
Jesus is the True Vine. We, as believers, are the branches. By His mighty power, He upholds and sustains us. His is the life-giving energy that flows into us. Branches apart from the vine are lifeless. As we abide in Him… as we remain attached, connected, united to Him by faith… we draw strength, power and life from the Divine Source.
How much can we do apart from Christ? Nothing… of eternal value. Without abiding in Him, we cannot bear fruit for the kingdom. Our words and our work are of no lasting significance when done in our own power. They are merely wood, hay, stubble that will not last for eternity (1 Corinthians 3:12-13). Only by tapping into His power can we produce fruit that glorifies Him.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” — John 15:4
Our Heavenly Father is the Vinedresser. His great love for the vineyard He has created shows in His tender care. Our purpose is to bear fruit for the kingdom, honoring God and doing good in His name. The Master Gardener works in our lives to help keep us abiding in Christ, the True Vine, and producing the choicest of fruit.
The Vinedresser plants us in the rich, fertile soil of His grace. He places us on sunny hillsides, setting us apart from the world. He shines His light of glory and His warm sunshine of love upon us, keeping us in His blessing. He showers us with His rain of living water.
The Master Gardener nurtures our new blossoms and fruit. He pulls up worldly weeds that try to choke our spiritual growth. He protects us from harm. When the storms of life hit us, He holds us strong. When times of frost and trials threaten, He covers us with the warmth of His presence. When the enemy attacks us with destructive pests, He surrounds us as a shield.
“I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” — John 15:1-2
God watches over us in times of dormancy. Just as a vine loses its leaves and goes dormant in the winter, so we have times of dormancy in our lives. These are wilderness times when we fail to sense the life-giving presence of our Lord… seasons of dryness… times when we are leafless, fruitless, lacking in spiritual energy.
Yet the Master Gardener sees our potential. He is always there… working in our dormancy new life… replenishing His life-giving energy from the True Vine. He prunes the dead, unproductive sprigs in our lives.
The Vinedresser knows how to expertly prune His branches so as to be the most productive… to create the finest of fruit. The pruning process may seem painful. Yet the Master of the Vineyard is working His expertise to trim away all that detracts from the Vine… all the useless stubble, all the worldliness, all the idols that distract. He prunes us to make us like Him.
The best heavenly care produces the choicest spiritual fruit. When our wilderness season passes, we burst out into new life. Fresh new buds and leaves sprout and bloom in our lives. Our branches abound with fruit. In His grace and love, the Vinedresser renews us.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” — John 15:9
Jesus, the True Vine, is our foundation… the Life Source to whom we remain eternally attached. By faith, we abide in Him and He in us. His enduring love bears us up and sustains us. Our roots grow deep in Him and our lives are built up by Him (Colossians 2:7).
The Vinedresser, our Heavenly Father, is always at work to make us spiritually fruitful. His wise and loving watchfulness over His vineyard becomes evident in our lives as we yield to Him. He takes perfect care of us, producing in us the finest of fruit.
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” — John 15:8
Our spiritual fruit brings praise and glory to God. By our fruit we are recognized as disciples of Jesus for all the world to see. As our hearts abide in Him, we become like Him. His life-giving grace and power flow within us so that our spiritual fruit is of heavenly value, lasting for all eternity.