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

Scattered Leaves

Last week, I watched my neighbor rake the scattered leaves into mounds around his yard and then bag them. The next morning a new carpet of leaves coated his grass. Enthusiastically, he cleared the yard again. Yet, the following morning the same sight greeted my eyes with the dawning light!

I do not know how he had the joy and energy to repeat this process for an entire fall. I get tired of dealing with life’s little repetitive problems, especially when the same problems persist endlessly. I do not mind the new challenges, which I face with the dawn of each morning; but the petty, mindless problems wear my patience thin!

We often put our self in situations outside of the will of God for our life. We rush headlong into the circumstance without one prayer. At other times, God Himself sends scattered trials, to remind us to depend on Him. Once the situation resolves, we often realize that the trials were seeds for a miracle, which worked out for our good (Romans 8:28).

Hindsight teaches us that many, various experiences are a needful part of God’s plan and purpose for our life. God also teaches us patience, which He uses to perfect us (James 1:4). In the midst of our complaining, the Lord reminds us that we shall reap, if we do not get weary while we do good in His name and by His Spirit’s direction.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that if we were to stop “raking” the “yard”, which You give us, the new “green sprouts” beneath the “leaves” would die and fail to germinate in the “spring.” The “leaves” of circumstances would hinder the new growth in our spirit and soul from sprouting and reaching the life-giving Son they need for nourishment.
Lord, if we continue to trust You through the mundane issues we face each and every day, we will eventually see the fruit of our labors. Then, when we reach eternity we will hear You say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Thought for the Day:
Life flows more smoothly when we give thanks to God in everything, because we serve at our King’s pleasure.