DAY 12: “Is Your Fruit Attached To The Vine?”

I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer… — John 15 (The Message)

Have you ever gone to the grocery store, picked out what you thought was fresh fruit and within a day or 2 it spoiled? Annoying, I know.  Unless we know when it was first detached from the tree or vine, we really don’t know how old it is or how good it is.  I like avocados and when they are all neatly stacked together, they look fresh, firm and mostly the same! But the minute you pick one up that may have looked good and you get the squish factor… (ewwwww gross as my kids used to say) that avocado gets dropped back into the pile pretty darn fast. Take bananas, some are really green, and if you take them home you have to wait a little bit to eat them (unless you are one of those who actually like green bananas) and sometimes they are really ripe (those I make into banana chocolate chip bread). All in all, fruit that is not attached to the tree is unpredictable. Fruit that is still attached to the tree is fresher, stronger and is usually good to eat right away.

What kind of fruit are you producing? Is your fruit attached to the vine?  Or are you trying to do everything in your own strength?

I’ve always been able to juggle a million things at once. My tree had so many branches that I thought that was normal. Most of the fruit I was producing was good fruit. However, after closer evaluation, some fruit was overripe, and some fruit was a little undeveloped. The “not so great fruit” I was trying to produce in my own strength so I could get more done, be more productive, or so I thought.  Every day, I made my list of what I wanted to accomplish but never asked the Lord what was on His list. He dropped this passage from John in my heart and told me to ponder it. He said, “For where you are now, and where I want to take you in the future you need to understand this.” I still make lists, but I ask God what His “to do’s” are as well. I am more productive (even if I accomplish fewer things) because I am connected to the vine.  I am producing better fruit, fruit that lasts.

The passage He gave me is from John 15.  I encourage you to read it in other versions and let the Lord talk to you personally about it. I love them all!!

John 15: 1-17 (The Message)

I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer.  He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more.  You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.

I am the vine; you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.  Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home and you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is– when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

I’ve loved you the way my father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done– kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.

I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I’ve loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning.  No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.

You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.

But remember, the root command: Love one another.”

Some of the things I’ve learned (and still learning) from this passage.

  1. Jesus is the true (real, genuine) vine. Everything else is a counterfeit.
  2. There will be pruning (trimming, cutting away) of my branches to make me bear richer and more excellent fruit. This won’t always be comfortable but it’s worth it. Find out what God wants to do and join Him in it.
  3. I am already cleansed and washed with the Word of God. Nothing I can do as a child of God will make Him love me more than He does right now.
  4. I can only produce real fruit (fruit that lasts) if I’m connected to the Vine. (Jesus). Everything else will be broken off, gathered up and burned in the fire.
  5. My harvest is sure to be abundant when I am connected and vitally united to Him.
  6. When I bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and I am a true disciple of his.
  7. He told me these things so I could have complete and overflowing joy and delight.
  8. He chose me from the beginning of time to bear fruit for Him, fruit that lasts, so that whatever I ask the Father in Jesus Name He may give to me. (According to His Promises and His Word). We are to live, move and have our being in Him so others will see how good God truly is.

Say this with me:  Father, in the Name of Jesus, I thank you that you are the true Vine. Apart from you I can do nothing. I give you permission to cut off any branches that are hindering my growth and production of fruit.  Help me to stay connected to you by being in the Word, listening to Your voice, and doing what you say. I choose to love because you loved me first.

Shalom,

Mama Swan