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. “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….When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:4, 8 (NLT)
One of the most important things in our journey of faith is learning to abide in Christ! As Jesus reveals Himself as the ‘True Vine’, the source of salvation, as opposed to the old religious system that was in Israel (‘The Vine’). Jesus makes it clear that all spiritual life flows from Him!
Jesus is the True Vine, we are the branches and as we produce fruit we bring glory to the Father! This is an amazing thought and such an awesome privilege! The fact that our lives can glorify God is one of the most profound things we can hope to understand or achieve in this world.
But as we read this chapter, we see that there are challenges as fruit is produced. There are times when pruning is needed because of the wrestle that happens within the branches. As nourishment flows to the fruit, the elements cause the leaves to grow and the wrestle in the branches begins. In the early stages the leaves begin to act almost like a solar panel to draw nutrients from the sun and rain, but if allowed to grow wild they suffocate the fruit causing the branches to wither and fruitlessness is the result. So there’s a wrestle between the leaves and the fruit.
As we abide in Jesus, He provides everything we need to produce fruit for his glory. But we know there are many influences (leaves) that cause our old nature to grow. Our tendency is often to ignore these little temptations, sins or habits, but it’ll not be long until they begin to grow wild and suffocate the fruit in our lives.
So let’s be intentional in this wrestle, let’s search our hearts regularly, and when necessary, pray that the Father will prune the unwanted leaves in our lives so the fruit can grow, multiply and bring glory to God.
Remember: ‘When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father…’ John 15:8 (NLT)
Father thank You for providing everything I need in Christ to produce fruit that will last! Help me today, and every day, to abide in Christ and receive grace and power for the wrestle against the old nature. When it is needed, come and prune away everything that will hinder Your life from flourishing within me. Empower me to be fruitful in every area of my life and may I glorify You in every way and with every breath as a result. Amen