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Bearing Fruit

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 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.”

John 15:1-5 New Living Translation (NLT)

We like to feel like we are making something of ourselves. We pat ourselves on the back as we take pride in our accomplishments and take credit for our achievements. But when we fail to succeed, it sometimes takes great effort to lift our heads and get up to try to win again. If we begin to feel as if nothing we do will turn out right, we sometimes become discouraged. Some give up on themselves and it's all downhill from there. But Jesus is at the bottom of that hill and sometimes we have to fall down there before we realize we need His help to rise again. Just like He did.

When Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He was speaking the truth of life to them. This truth extends to us today. Like a garden is tended by a gardener, God is tending to His Creation. He waters and prunes us until we bear fruit that pleases Him. Our blessing is in the fact that we are not the plant. Through Christ, we are made to see that we are only branches on a Vine that is planted and deeply rooted in the God of Creation. Jesus is the Vine and our job is to bear fruit by being nourished by the Vine. Have you ever seen a branch severed from the plant from which it came sprouting anything? Those severed branches are good for nothing but a good fire because they are dead.

We are created to do good things but the good things we do are not what makes us special. Our trust and belief in a Savior who died for us nourishes us into people who are pleasing to God. Our faith in Jesus Christ is what guides us into a destiny already ordained for our lives. Looking to Him as the Source of our existence is like clinging to His Vine. We can do nothing good without Him. As we go about life on this planet, we will sow some seeds and we will water some plants, but it is God who will make them grow and He sent His Son to help us bear the fruit. Trust Him.

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