This post concludes the “I Am” devotional series. To begin the series,
go to Bread for the Journey.
In the final “I Am” statement, Jesus used a gardening metaphor…
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener… I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1, 5)
Jesus compared himself to a common, fruit-bearing vine. The vine supplies nutrients and supports the branches. Fruit grows. Jesus’ humility and servanthood emerge from the metaphor. He demonstrated true love through his words and compassionate actions…all the way to sacrificial death on the cross.
We, Jesus said, are the branches. Cut from the vine, we dry up and die. Anchored to the true vine, we grow and bear fruit. Connected to the true vine, we tap into everlasting and abundant sustenance!
Fruit of the Vine
We look for grapes on a grapevine. It’s natural. No grapes? Then … pruning, fertilizing, and disease-control commence.
We look for Christ-like behavior in Christians. It’s natural. No fruit? Then … ramp up the encouragement, equipping, and discipling.
There must be fruit. The fruit-bearing vine does not exist for the sake of it’s beauty. Likewise, our actions — the fruit — demonstrate God’s presence in our lives. The fruit of the believer include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Is your fruit showing?
Purpose of Fruit
Maybe, though, I want to be a branch of a lovely Morning Glory vine or a Trumpet vine. Fruit-bearing is a lot of work. Magnificent, floral vines attract attention and praise from all visitors. They change the landscape with their colorful appearance.
Jesus, however, chose a fruit-bearing vine…
Healthy branches produce fruit. Fruit feeds birds, animals, insects, and humans! Fruit also encase seeds that enable the vine to multiply. Likewise, the fruit of the believer contains seeds for Kingdom growth. Scripture clearly tells us to go, share his Word, make disciples, bring justice, and love sacrificially.
Our actions can expand the Lord’s vineyard! If only we can be flourishing branches…
How is your fruit production?
Does your life reflect the plentiful harvest Jesus spoke of in John 15?
Or, is your life more like the barren vineyard in Jesus’ parable in Luke 13?
The good news is that we have a loving Gardener. He digs, fertilizes, and tends to each plant. (Luke 13:8) He prunes, waters, and watches.
It was all about growth.
Pause to ponder how the Lord wants you to grow today…
Dedicate more time to prayer?
Study or memorize scripture?
Share your faith?
Reach out and care for your neighbor?
Increase in patience for certain family members?
Be a peacemaker at work or home?
The Gardener is waiting….
Posted by Sharon R. Hoover