from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read John 15:1-8; Hebrews 12:1-11
How can you be fruitful – in your daily living, in your relationships, in your service, and in prayer life?
Remain in the vine. All your fruitfulness flows from Jesus Christ. Just as His relationship with the Father was the key to His fruitfulness, so it is with you. Your relationship with the Father through Jesus is the key to your fruitfulness. Do everything you can to nurture your relationship with Him. Make that the #1 priority in your life, just as Jesus’ relationship with the Father was His constant focus and deepest desire.
Our Father will do all He can to increase our fruitfulness. How?
Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit (John 15:2, NASB).
The Father prunes us. Such pruning is essential if vines are to produce the very best fruit possible. The vine’s precious sap cannot be wasted supporting branches that are unfruitful. Only the fruit-bearing branches may remain.
So it is with us. The Father prunes or cleans us of any unfruitful elements in our lives. As we allow Him, He cuts away anything in us that drains our time, attention, energy, and resources without bearing fruit.
How does God prune us? By His word (v.3). His revealed wisdom teaches us how to live fruitfully.
- By His Spirit. His Spirit applies His word to our individual lives.
- By other means of grace, such as the Church and our fellow believers.
Pruning is not a one-time process. As with branches in a vine, things grow up in our lives that drain away our attention without bearing fruit. If our lives are to bear the best fruit possible, these unfruitful elements must be regularly pruned away.
Study and prayerfully apply God’s word. Be diligent about the means of grace. Stay tuned to the Spirit’s voice. The writer of Hebrews likened this pruning to parental discipline when he wrote:
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11, NASB)