John 15:1-8

John 15 is a powerful lesson on what God expects from us in our walk with Christ.  The chapter begins with a clear definition of how things are designed.  “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer”.  I love the farm analogy.  God is the one who takes care of the crop.  He has the plan, determines the strategy, directs the action.  Jesus is the source of life and growth.  He came to give life, and we learn in this chapter is the only source of that life and the ability to bear fruit.

As the farmer, God takes action in our lives.  Scripture tells us:

–       “He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes

–       And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more

There is no inaction in our lives.  We either are bearing fruit, or not.  If we aren’t, God will cut us off.  We are separated from His power and the life Christ came to give us.  But even if we are bearing fruit, we will be pruned so we can bear even more.  God’s never done working on us.  That’s the good news.  He never gives up on us.

We are given the secret to being able to bear fruit.  It is to be connected to the vine – Jesus Christ – as apart from His life giving power we just won’t ever bear any fruit.  “In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me”.  We can’t bear fruit without being attached to Him – without making Him Savior and Lord of our life so we can tap into the life giving relationship that enables us to be productive.  “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant”.

Jesus makes it pretty clear.  But to drive it home further, He says “Separated, you can’t produce a thing”.  Did you catch that?  It doesn’t say we won’t produce much.  It says we can’t produce any fruit.  On our own, we will be barren.  And Jesus says “Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire”.  God expects us to bear fruit.  Whether it be the fruits of the Spirit in how we live – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control – or bearing the fruit of bringing someone else into the Kingdom through sharing our life and faith with them so they come to know Jesus – it is very clear that we have to be producing.  God won’t tolerate any less!

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