I Am The Vine

I am the vine;

you are the branches.

If you remain in Me

and I in you,

you will bear much fruit;

apart from Me

you can do nothing.

—John 15:5

 

I can never, ever make this statement without it being false:

“I can bear fruit in God’s kingdom apart from Jesus.”

It’s not a true statement for me.

It’s not a true statement for you, either.

The branches must stay connected to the vine.

 

 

vine correct

Fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

—Galatians 5:22-23

If I could look inside your heart, would I find?

Would there be love?

Would there be joy?

Would I find peace there?

Would patience and kindness be evident?

Would I see goodness?

Would there be faithfulness?

Would I find gentleness?

Would self-control be there?

These are the fruits—the things that grow out of—the Spirit within us.

If I looked into my own heart, what would I see?

 

 

 

fruit

Make the Tree Good

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

—Matthew 12:33

 

When your name is mentioned, what things come to mind for those that know you?

What things come to mind for those that know me?

It is not our responsibility to please others primarily.

It is more important to please God in our actions and words.

In doing so, we will become known for our choices.

Does God consider us to be bearers of good fruit or bad fruit?

 

tree fruit

God’s Way

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There is an orange grove just across the street from my home.

Where I live, the oranges will be ripe in a couple of months or so.

Steadily they grow, getting sweeter each day.

God has been at work in my life, changing me and growing me since the time that I became a Christian years ago.

I have known that He was with me, guiding me and protecting me.

I want to live God’s way.

How about you?

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But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

—Galatians 5:22-23 

The Message

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gifts

Much Fruit

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Am I abiding in Jesus today?

Am I bearing fruit in my life that is pleasing to Him?

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I am the vine,

you are the branches;

he who abides in Me and I in him,

he bears much fruit,

for apart from Me

you can do nothing.

—John 15:5

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branches

He Prunes

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I am not a very experienced gardener, by any means.

The flowers and plants that I do have are all somewhat low maintenance.

More times than I would like to remember, I have unintentionally been the cause of a plant’s demise.

When our family moved into our house sixteen years ago, there was a single rose bush in the front garden area.

Since I knew very little about rose bushes, I left it alone most of the time, hoping it would be all right.

A few weeks ago, I decided to face my fear of possibly destroying the bush and actually do some pruning.

Major pruning.

The bush only had two fairly large canes coming up from the ground.

I decided to cut them off at about two feet high.

Taking the cut branches that had once been my five foot tall rose bush, I placed them in water and later planted them.

Very quickly, the two solitary canes began to grow new branches.

Healthy, vibrant looking ones.

To date, there are four new branches that have doubled the height of what I had left and each branch is making a rose.

In fact, this afternoon, I photographed the first new, red rose to emerge after the pruning!

The old, spindly branches needed to be removed for a long time, but I was afraid.

Afraid of what might happen if the bush “started over.”

I’m not just that way with roses.

There have been times in my life when I have been too afraid to get rid of things in my life that were holding me back.

Things that were in the way of becoming what God wanted me to become.

And it wasn’t only things that I was afraid to allow God to prune, it was attitudes and feelings.

Distractions from what was most important.

Insecurities.

Fears.

God knows what’s best.

Sometimes pruning has to take place if there is to be positive change.

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Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
—John 15:2

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more fruit