Can you imagine it… You planted a pear tree in your back yard… you did everything they told you to do… fertilized it, watered it, cared for it, and it began to grow – thrive actually. But there was one branch! It never did take off… its leaves were kind of limp, and then yellowish, and then it just shriveled up and looked dead… One branch! What was wrong? You had a feeling… something was seriously wrong! … What could you do? What should you do? You just knew it wasn’t going to bear fruit!
In my Bible reading today I came across a metaphor Jesus used like that…
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit… ABIDE in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it ABIDES in the vine, neither can you, unless you ABIDE in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever ABIDES in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING! If anyone does not ABIDE in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned… By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide!” (From John 15:1–8, 16 ESV)
So what is the secret to “producing fruit?” That’s what our Heavenly Father wants from our lives – that’s the objective – that’s the purpose of the life he has given us! That’s why we’ve been planted in His garden? It’s that word “ABIDE!” Jesus made it clear… He said, “APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING!”
So what is “ABIDING?” I reflected on that during my time of “Coffee with the Lord” (and even out on my “prayer run” this morning… I think “abiding” is simply the life-giving, fruit producing relationship we have with Jesus Christ!” Oh how I hope you’ve experienced that! Your ultimate life (greater than simply your physical life) – your “eternal life” comes from Him! Your Heavenly Father, as the Divine horticulturist, works in your life and the life of other Christians around you to produce the “fruit” He desires!
My prayer today? Oh Lord, do what you need to do – work in my life today – help me to do my part to sustain my life-giving relationship with You that will produce the kind of fruit you want… and a lot of it!