May 13, 2020
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
When life is easy, it’s not hard to be a good, faithful disciple.
But when we’re attacked – from every side – what then? When we are put to the test, how do we respond?
Do we continue to follow God and bear fruit?
Or, do we wither – hide from the struggles and cease to produce – avoiding the attacks to protect ourselves? Avoiding all who would question our Faith because we are too afraid to stand up and acknowledge our belief?
Jesus says he is the true vine. He is The Word of God. He is where we look to find the Truth. Sadly, when times are peaceful it is easy to be fruitful – to love and do for others. So we are fruitful. But life can become chaotic and we get busy with “OUR” stuff and we are not as fruitful.
What does God do? He “prunes” our lives down. If your job is too hectic, he may prune it. If your friends are getting in the way of your loving others – pruned. If your possessions are more important than those in need – pruned. Anything that blocks your path God could and should – prune.
God can make us more fruitful – if we let him.
If you’ve never been fruitful, then you will find yourself alone. You may lose your greatest love. You may lose your home. You may lose it all. This isn’t to say that every person experiencing hard times is cut off and burned in the fire – ask Job.