Hello. Hope everything is going well. As I mentioned previous, I am going to talk about the branches.
The branches are an important part of the tree. Without them extending out, giving the fruit a place to grow and hang from, we wouldn’t have a very good fruit tree. Let’s look at John 15:15:1 “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. 15:2 He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. 15:3 You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.”
Let’s break this down for a second.
Jesus is making a distinction here between two kinds of pruning. In the first part of verse two He says, “he takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me.” It would be similar to me trimming a tree in the yard that has not produced anything, or it may even be dead. Next He says, “he prunes every branch that bears fruit.” It would be the same or similar to me pruning a tree in my yard, cutting it back so it blossoms more. If you know anything about trimming bushes or trees, you know what I am referring to. We trim the trees to promote growth. We go through that as people too.
Sometimes God must discipline us (prune us) to strengthen our character and faith. But those that don’t bear fruit are cut off from the trunk, because not only are they worthless, but they often infect the rest of the tree. People who will not bear fruit for God, or who try to block the efforts of God’s followers, will be cut off from God’s life giving power.
Jesus says in verse four, “Remain in me and I will remain in you.” When we think about the fruit tree, a branch cannot bear fruit unless it stays attached to the vine. Remember when I said a tree starts as a little seed and grows into a tree, having gone through the whole process from start to finish? The branch will die if it does not stay attached. If the branch is not attached, there will be no fruit. If the branch is dead or dying, there will be no fruit. Therefore, we as branches, in order to produce fruit, must stay attached to the vine. That vine is Jesus Christ.
Today, who is your branch attached to, and is it alive, dying or already dead? Are you currently going through the pruning process? Are you being discarded or being disciplined?
Lord, I pray today for myself and the person reading this right now. The pruning process can be painful, but I know from experience, it is required if we are to produce more fruit. Just like my orange tree in the back yard, if I don’t care for it, it will die. Lord, I’m thankful you are my gardener, because when I look at my orange tree in the back yard, obviously, I am a terrible gardener. Father, give us the courage today to ask you who our branch is attached to, and what process we are in. If we find Lord, we are dying or almost dead, please help us to come back to life, to come back to the vine. In your son’s name, I pray all these things, Amen.
Standing on His Promises,