Bearing Much Fruit
Since September 2019 I have been reading through the New Testament with my Sunday school class using the F260 reading plan from Replicate Ministries.
Each day my class and I read one chapter of the New Testament and respond to what God is speaking to us through the process of the H.E.A.R. journal. (See link above for more info.). This morning I begin my 40th week of reading and journaling in the Book of John, chapter 15. Verses 1-2 spoke to me:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.” (John 15:1-2, HCSB)
Lately I have been feeling discontent, restless, sad, disconnected. Given the state of our country and the world, with its global pandemic and civil unrest, is this really any surprise? Probably not, but I am a child of God. I am not of this world. Jesus said,
They are not of the world,
as I am not of the world. (John 17:16, HCSB)
We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one. (1 John 5:19, HCSB)
But knowing this and living this is challenging at times. Fortunately I am not supposed to do this walk of life alone or in my own power.
Reading more from the passage about the Gardener, (God), the Vine (Jesus), and the branch, (Me) the burden of trying to figure things out in my own power has been taken from me:
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” (John 15:3-5, HCSB)
So this morning, through my feelings of discontentment, restlessness, sadness, and disconnection, God is calling me to draw closer to himself. I KNOW I was made for more in this life. I KNOW God has a plan for me and that He is pruning me so that I bear much fruit and those who are lost recognize Jesus’ love for them through me. I don’t know where my journey will take me, but I do know that my guide is omnipotent. My job is to remain on the vine and allow God to prune me so that I bear much fruit.
Where are you today? Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Can you relate to some of the things that I am feeling? Draw near to God… Or maybe you don’t have a relationship with Jesus and feel some of what I feel in the world today. Take heart. Open your heart and your ears to hear His still small voice. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.