Passage: John 15:1-11
This entire passage are the words of Jesus:
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. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
From the context of our Clayton Church value of Everyday Moments, the key verses that stand out are in the keyword “abide”. As we go about experiencing our everyday moments, we can include God and abide in Him as we experience life.
Jesus compared himself to a plant – a grape vine in particular in the context that God the Father is gardener, watering and tending to the plant. Every plant needs pruning to ensure unhealthy branches that do not produce fruit are removed and the resources and energy of the plant can focus on the healthy branches which do produce fruit. Jesus’ message of the Gospel and the commandments of the Great Commission serve as the initial pruning, whereby we cast off the things of the world and align ourselves to the will of God, going forth and practicing obedience to His Word. As long as we keep aligned to God’s will, we will ensure we do not stray and lose sight of our purpose in life. The danger of straying is that, once separated from God, we will not be able to produce fruit, or even if we can, that fruit will no longer be good/healthy.
Jesus is the the core plant to which we attach and align ourselves as the branches. As long as we remain close to God, in pursuit of Him, we will produce much fruit, whereas drawing further away from God and rejecting His message will result in fruitlessness. Eventually, if the connection to God is lost permanently, the lost branches will become useless to God and left to wither, die and be burned. A true believer and follower of Jesus, will be in constant communion and connection with Him, drawing near to Him, and this will become obvious in the fruit we bear. Ultimately, all this happens for the glory of God.
Jesus loves us because God the Father first loved him. We can all share in and experience this love for ourselves by remaining obedient to all Jesus/God has taught. This journey of life in pursuing and obeying God will also result in much joy – so much joy it will burst out and be evident in your life.
What I Discovered
- Good fruit requires a connection and relationship with Jesus/God. This topic is timely since in a conversation with a non-believer, their focus is that good people don’t deserve condemnation. Combined, this passage reinforces to us that to be good is to pursue God. Good without God is a worldly definition of “good” but differs – only when we know and seek God as our first love, our obedience produces good fruit.
- Obedience is key to bearing good fruit. Being good to God means being obedient to His commands.
- Continual and intentional disobedience will ultimately lead to a path where you cannot be saved.
- Joy is not just another fruit of the Spirit, of which there are nine, it is explicitly identified here as being a key good fruit that we will bear.
I will celebrate the joy of the Lord as my strength, particularly as I experience the current season of everyday moments. I will seek God first and honour Him as I represent Him/Jesus to my everyone, everywhere with my everything.