Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture: ” I am the vine and 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 15:5
We can bear no good, eternal fruit unless we are abiding in the Vine. That why the 15th chapter of the gospel of John is one of my favorite chapters in the whole bible, because it uses the analogy of the vineyard to make it’s point and I happen to be a person who loves every type of grape and the wine they produce, in moderation of course! Jesus is using the Vineyard analogy because it was one that most people in His time could relate to, being that most people lived off the land. He sets the hierarchy straight right off the bat and He makes it perfectly clear that He is the Vine, responsible for the abundance of all good fruit, and we are the branches. Branches that are not connected to the vine are worthless, and no matter how good they look at a given time, they are destined to wither away and die, for they can no longer bear any fruit. John 15:7-8 says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” This gives me great hope that God the Father will be glorified if I bear much good fruit.So what is my responsibility? To abide in Him who is the vine, Jesus Christ. His wisdom and word must be the defining truth in my life. Abide means “to remain or continue in a particular condition, attitude or relationship.” In this case, we must remain in relationship with Christ if we expect to bear much good fruit. In order for us to bear an abundance of fruit for God’s kingdom, pruning will be required from time to time. Pruning can be a painful experience in the short term, but in the long term it prepares the branches for a much larger and more abundant harvest. Pruning removes growth that is dead or dying to encourage new fruit to develop. We are in need of clean up and pruning on an on going basis in our walk with the Lord, but we must remember that it is being done so that we can produce even more fruit in the future. How does God prune us? He cuts away the parts of our lives that drain precious time and energy on less than ideal pursuits. He works in each life uniquely to prune that branch in the way that it needs to be pruned. In essence, a part of us ( flesh ) must die so that a new better part can come to produce even more fruit (Spirit ) in the future. Our busyness on things that don’t really matter and only serve to distract us will be removed. In their place, an abundance of fruit that comes from abiding in Him will come to be harvested. As a new year begins, there is pressure to get right back on the treadmill and allow ourselves to get caught up in the busyness that many view as healthy or a sign of achievement. Don’t do it! Instead, find time to just be in closer relationship with Jesus, through prayer, scripture reading and fellowship as Luke 10: 38-42 commands. Then, the grapes produced as a result of being intimately connected to the Vine will be the fullest and sweetest we have ever tasted.