In recent days I’ve been reading in John 15 in the evening and have been much impacted by Jesus’ strong focus and emphasis upon His disciples’ bearing fruit.
(John 15:2 NIV) He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
(John 15:4 NIV) Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
(John 15:5 NIV) 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 15:8 NIV) This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
(John 15:16 NIV) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
It is so clear that the primary concern of God the Gardener is that His branches bear much fruit. He isn’t satisfied with non-productive branches just because they look “pretty.” Such branches get cut off and thrown away. And those branches that are bearing fruit, He prunes them as the expert Gardener and Vine-dresser so that they will be more fruit, much fruit.
God’s heart and burden for me is that my life will bear much fruit to the praise and glory of His name – to His delight. There is no greater joy for the Owner and Gardener of the vineyard than to see His vines hanging laden down with luscious, juicy fruit. His heart is also deeply pained when He sees branches producing no fruit.
As one of the branches in God’s vine, I am made to bear much fruit. Jesus has chosen me and sends me out so that I will bear much fruit.
In the following verses Paul underscores the nature of the fruit that God desires:
Gal 5:22-23 (NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Eph 5:8-9 (NIV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
Phil 1:9-11 (NIV) And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.
Col.1:10 (NIV) And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God
Col 1:6b … (NIV) All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I earnestly long and desire that my life will bear abundant fruit to the praise and glory of Your holy name. As a branch, the only way I can bear fruit is through remaining attached to You, the Vine.
So I give myself to You praying that You will keep my heart longing after this intimate, spiritual fellowship and relationship with You. I long that Your heart will be filled with much joy as you witness abundant fruit on this branch, and that You will also bring much delight to others as they witness and taste the good fruit that is being picked from this branch. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.