Through the Grapevine
Mighty God, there is no power on heaven and earth greater than Yours. I bless Your name.
Read John 15:1-8
 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  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.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also 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.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow can you bear good fruit for Jesus?
Touring the vineyards of Napa Valley, California, had been high on my list of things to do for a long time. At last, that wonderful day arrived! The sun was shining and the landscape was glorious. Even though I have always lacked the gardening gene, I became increasingly fascinated by the life cycle of grapes and, in particular, the importance of pruning. Left to their own devices, grape vines become unruly and messy. They need to be trained and shaped. Pruning is costly, but cutting back shoots and foliage encourages the best possible growth and harvest. Jesus describes this process of pruning to his disciples, likening them to the branches and himself to the vine (5). In Jewish tradition, the vineyard was a picture of Israel (see Isa. 5). Since Israel had failed to live up to God’s standards, Jesus becomes the true vine and the fulfillment of God’s promises. If his followers stay connected and grafted to Jesus, they will produce great fruit (8). This discourse is an exhortation to avoid individual exploits. Detaching ourselves from Jesus, the vine, will lead to unproductive isolation.
How do you stay connected to Jesus? Reflect upon the way God has shaped your life by bringing the pruning of correction or discipline.
Gracious Father, have Your way in my life and continue to remake me like Jesus.
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