In this chapter, Jesus speaks of a relationship with him where we are the vine and he is the branches. The first two verses deal with "pruning" and the fact that the Father "cuts off" things that bear no fruit that the plant would be more fruitful. What things have been removed from your life that, at the end of the day, caused you to be released from a dependence?
Sometimes a relationship might be in our life for a season but then life moves on and that person is no longer as involved with us. Even though it may seem challenging, it may also serve to grow you to another level. For those who have lost jobs, know that when one door closes, God opens another. I have heard from so many, "Losing my job turned out to be a great blessing because of how it "forced me" into doing something I love." What happened? God was pruning so that we would be more fruitful. God knows what we need. He also knows that if certain things remain in our lives and do not change, we will not produce the fruit that he intends.
Sometimes change is forced upon us. Sometimes God desires for us to make a move. When I graduated college, I had a couple of different jobs in marketing that just did not seem to work out. I would do okay, but then I would just get bored and feel I just was not where God wanted me to be. I would try to stick with it, but in the end, it just was not me. What was happening? God was leading me to prune something from my life so I could produce more fruit. Now I can honestly say that I feel I am doing what I was born to do. Decisions like these need to be made carefully and not impulsively.
In verse 5 Jesus says, "If a man remain in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." By seeking God consistently we are giving God opportunity to work in our lives. By maintaining connection with God, listening to his word and communicating with our maker, we have a promise from Jesus that we will bear much fruit. Your life will make a difference because of your connection with the vine. The vine nourishes the branches. It brings the water and nutrients of the soil all the way to the fruit on the vine!
Remain, abide, continue with God. You will see results!
Paul Andrews is the pastor of Life Church, Augusta. He can be contacted at: email@example.com