Text: John 15:4 “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.”
Well many of you may know that I am an avid gardener. My garden is my place of sanctuary and solitude.
In John 15 Jesus uses a grape vine to explain a spiritual principal to the disciples. All the disciples are gathered around Jesus at the last supper. Jesus is preparing the disciples for His departure. Yet they still do not understand what Jesus was telling them.
Jesus tells the disciples they must “abide” in Him. This word abide means to dwell or rest. Jesus goes on to explain that if we do not abide in Him, then it is impossible for us to bear spiritual fruit. Those who bear no spiritual fruit are pruned or cut-off and cast into the fire.
“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 a so that it will be even more fruitful.”
John 15: 1-2
In my garden I also prune my plants and bushes cutting away the dead branches so the plants can divert their energy to producing fruit. Likewise, we all have areas of our lives or hearts that are dead areas or things that hold us back and keep us from experiencing all the goodness the Lord has available for us.
Pruning can be a painful process. Those dead areas of our life generally require much more attention and energy which keeps us distracted and frustrated. When we are distracted, and frustrated God cannot use us as He intends. We wonder why that relationship did not work out or why we lost a job. However, it may be that the Lord is pruning us so that we can focus on the good things he has in store for us.
How do we “abide” in Him? Trust and faith….trusting the Lord in all situations and having faith that His word is true and dependable.
Often the Spirit of God will lead you to a place where only His word will get you through.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
May the God of peace guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.