Read John 15:1-17
“I am the true vine . . .” (Jn. 15:1).
Fruit. It is one of the purposes for which a plant exists. Farmers don’t just plant vast fields of corn or soy beans because they enjoy seeing the symmetry of plants lined up, row after row. They want the harvest. They do all they can to ensure a fruitful harvest.
God’s plan for us is no different. He chose us for that very purpose . . . that we might be fruitful in this life. (See v. 16.) He wants us to demonstrate godly attitudes. (See Gal. 5:22,23.) He wants us to conduct ourselves with righteous behavior. (See Phil. 1:11.) It is His plan that we produce the fruit of praise. (See Her. 13:15.) His will is that we are involved in a harvest of leading others to know Him. (See Matt. 9:35-38.) Those are some of the fruits that Jesus expects to bear in our lives.
But we cannot bear fruit on our own. Jesus makes that abundantly clear in His vineyard illustration from today’s reading. We are only branches. Isolate the branch from the vinedresser’s expert care and pruning, and it will not produce bountifully. Cut the branch off from its supply of nourishment, and it will shrivel up and die . . . grapeless. We just can’t do it alone.
Our fruitfulness is only possible as we continue to draw from Christ. He is the hearty vine from which we as branches draw our life-giving and fruit-producing strength. Remaining in, abiding in, Him is the key to the fruitful life. Abide in Him today.
- Consciously recognize your own limitations. “Jesus, I acknowledge that without You I can do nothing today!” (v.5)
- Intentionally choose to draw your strength from Christ. “True Vine, I am committed to being in close fellowship with You throughout the day.” (v.4)
- Specifically determine to allow the Word of God to fill you. “Lord, my desire is that Your Word might have sway in how I live my life today!” (v.7)
Will your life during this new year be as barren and fruitless as the maple trees or corn fields? Or will you draw from the Jesus, the True Vine, and produce fruit?