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. John 15:1-5
Jesus is speaking directly to his disciples and compares their relationship to the branches of a tree or vine. In these verses, he demonstrates the love of God as the gardener. He also affirms that as his true disciples, they must abide or endure in Him to become mature and produce fruit.
So, let’s think about plants for a moment. What do they need to survive?
1) good soil 2) light 3) water.
We all know that plants will die without these things. So, think about what is necessary for plants. First, well-cultivated soil is either purchased or provided. Then any weeds are removed, and rich soil is added. The planted seeds or small plants are monitored for a time and any stems or leaves that become discolored or no longer look appealing are discarded. Adequate light and water are added while eagerly waiting for the plant to grow.
What else does the plant need to flourish? Even if it gets all it needs to survive, it also requires the care of the gardener. We have all seen plants that are not maintained and left to die. They can’t support themselves but require the specialized care of a knowledgeable person. They can absorb water and lean into the light, but somehow know their very survival, care and purpose depend on the heart of the gardener.
The gardener’s desire is for the plant to flourish, thrive, and produce blossoms or fruit.
So now think about being a plant or vine in God’s garden. Jesus wants his true disciples to crave Him– like plants crave water, soil, and light! Our true desire must be to abide in Him and be eager to soak up all the richness of His presence. Because God knows our deepest needs and can provide beyond what we can imagine or think.
So, when we truly abide in Christ, we reflect His presence in our priorities, habits, hobbies, and relationships, and Christ flows in every aspect of our lives — We produce fruit!
Remember that sometimes God may need to weed out some areas of your life or cut away some dead or unsightly leaves. This is not meant to be a punishment, but a method of discipline for you to grow and mature in Christ. It can bring pain, sorrow, and even loss but ultimately will make you stronger to weather any storm.
So, stay connected to Jesus, abide in His great love for you. He is always with you and desires for you to flourish, thrive, and produce abundant fruit.