Passion fruit vines are due for good trimmings in early spring (this message comes after spring has left). Pruning makes for a better flower and fruit yield. Remove the old and dead makes way for the young and new growth!
I spent several hours over a weekend pruning passion vines with my grandpa. I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ words as I worked…Scripture took on a new life. First, it’s good to note that removing dead branches is different from pruning which is cutting back a branch to better shape it.
Playing the gardener really opened my eyes because we like to think that we can make ourselves better. We can just get fix ourselves and cause our own fruit to grow, as if it was that easy.
Yet, when I was cleaning the vines, I got tired. And when you’re looking at tangled and crossing branches, your eyes trick you. I cut off healthy green branches by accident. I ended up stuck by thorns and splinters. I was confused, something hurt, and I mistakenly damaged healthy growth.
“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 bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
John 15:1-8 NKJV
A lot of people, myself included, might read this passage as God trimming the parts of us that aren’t fruit-bearing. Actually, here, anyone who is not fruit-bearing is cut off. I think that’s really important, not to look at others, but to look at ourselves. We reap no blessing if we aren’t growing in Jesus.
If you are not abiding in Jesus, you are losing your lifeline and drying up.
On the other hand, if we are producing fruit then God will shape us in order to produce more: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness , faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Fruit is tangible, it is edible, alive, satisfying and to be shared with the world. This growth is a natural cause and effect of abiding in Jesus.
It is not the job of the branch to prune itself, or even to water itself, it is the job of the branch to soak up the nutrients passed through the vine. The cause and effect, here, is unmistakeable. If you remain in Him, you WILL produce fruit. If not, you will wither away and be removed.
We can get a little busy trying to trim branches and prune growth the way we see fit. But it’s not our job and we’d probably do a sorry job at it.
Let’s remain in Him and worry only about that. We are not spiritual vinedressers, we are spiritual fruit bearers only by the living water of Christ.
Wednesday Wisdoms post #07, a category that focused on the Holy Word. These wisdom posts will always include Scripture, devotional thoughts and encouragement to get into your own quiet time with God. Hope you enjoy studying with me!