Abiding Fruit – Part 1

Vineyards are a way of life in many countries around the world. A vine and branch are a common symbols of the intimacy of our relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 5:1-7, 27:2-6).

No branch can bear fruit unless it is connected to the Vine, with the nutrients from the roots and leaves flowing into each branch through the Vine (John 15:4).

The only way to bear fruit for God’s Kingdom is by abiding in the Vine. In Christ, we bear much fruit (John 15:5). He puts us in the right place, at the right time, with the right people to impact lives.

God’s abiding fruit gives us a new personality, prunes the decaying negative characteristics from our life, and nurtures the positive aspects, which He birthed in us.

He replaces hatred with love, discontentment with peace, irritation with patience, criticism with gentleness, backbiting with goodness, worry with faith, pride with meekness, and depression with true joy as He controls and guides us by His Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

The branch has no responsibility but to allow the life of the Vine to produce fruit through it. The branch is securely attached to the Vine, an integral part of the makeup of the Vine.

To abide in the Vine means to be so unified with the Vine that there is no difference between the two. We flow out of the Vine, reaching up to God’s life-giving Son and basking in the refreshing later rains (John 15:2; Joel 2:23).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that the Vine and branch are one entity, created for the purpose of bearing fruit to sustain a famished world dwelling all around us. Without this union, the branch dies and is pruned, discarded and burned in the fire.

Help us to enter into Your rest and to patiently hang out with the Vine, enjoying the cooling winds of the Spirit and the warming rays of Your Son. Encourage us to continue in Christ throughout our lifetime (Hebrews 4:10).

Thought for the Day:
If a branch is torn from the Vine by the storms of life, it no longer bears fruit and it withers and is thrown into the fire to be burned; yet, if we weather the storms of life by clinging to the Vine, we remain in the Vine and bear even more fruit. – John 15:6

Feasting on God’s Word

I have spent the last few months gardening in containers, which are spaced throughout my tiny outside flower garden. Some plants did better than the others. My tomatoes flourished and are still producing juicy, rich tomatoes. The peppers did well and are still sparsely bearing fruit. However, the okra, squash, green beans, celery and onions all failed to generate any usable fruit.

This reminds me of Jesus’ parable concerning the four types of soil: some seed fell upon the path, others among the thorns, many within the rocks and then just a few on the good soil. If the ground is hard, thorny or rocky, there is no room for the roots. It is only in the garden of prepared soil that a plant can take hold and grow to full maturity.

Similarly, our spiritual food is found in the rich depths of the Word of God. The only way to withstand the winds of adversity or the scorching trials and temptation we encounter in this life is to have our roots sunk deeply into a spiritually fertile environment. Jesus said that we will know His disciples by their fruit.

If His disciples are to produce fruit, they need good, rich, tilled, spiritually fertilized soil. As we receive God’s Word with conviction and repentance, we are ready to receive the proper nourishment. We feast on God’s Word, reading it every day to prepare the soil, so that we will bloom where God plants us.

Many of today’s churches are barren wastelands with nothing spiritually nutritious to offer the Believer. They focus on providing glitz and glitter to attract people, and then they supply only spiritual junk food, rather than wholesome nourishment. However, God is still raising up an army of teachers with every generation – those people who faithfully sow the seeds of the truth of God’s Word.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to feast on Your Word throughout the day. We eat three physical meals a day, and we need at least that many spiritual meals in order to have a healthy spirit and an intimate relationship with You. Provide us with teachers who seek You in prayer before they share Your Word. Lead us to a caring and loving fellowship of Believers. Even in these end times, please keep a remnant of spiritual teachers, preaching Your truth on which we can feast, Biblical principles, which enable us to bear much fruit.

Thought for the Day:
A lifetime commitment to feast on God’s Word gives us the spiritual strength to minister for Him in every area in which He calls us.
– Ephesians 2:10