Friday, January 30, 2009

Abiding in the Vine, Writing to Bear Fruit John 15:2

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 1:25

These verses are ones that I've meditated on over the past few years. I love the depth of them, and it really hasn't mattered how many times I've read them. They truly mean something a little more or different to me every single time.

It's interesting because there are two types of pruning or purging here. I grew up in a rural area and I understand that these scriptures illustrate two types of pruning or purging. The first type of pruning is when the branch is cut off and taken away from the vine because of lack of bearing fruit. We remember that Jesus cursed the fig tree because it was not bearing fruit. We will experience separation from Christ when we are not bearing fruit. One writer explains that when we are not bearing fruit we will be "cut off from the divine flow of life."

So, this naturally leads to the question, what does bearing fruit mean? It means that we are drawing others to Christ, but it also has further implications in scripture. Fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Each time I go over this list in the Word, I pause and reflect. As much as I might strive to obtain and demonstrate these characteristics, I know that it is only through the Holy Spirit that I can produce these traits, the awesome character traits of Jesus Christ.

The by-products of being under Christ's control are no mystery, yet at times, it can seem easier to fufill our religious duties (attending church, paying tithes, giving to the poor, etc.) than to . We can be connected to the vine and bearing spiritual fruit detach ourselves and perform duties that are not life-giving. However, when we love Him, know Him, seek to please Him, and daily surrender ourselves to Him, the result has to be bearing fruit for Him. We will never fall short in bearing fruit for Him when we are grounded in Him, His love and His truth in the Word.

I want to go further, but the baby is crying. I'll continue on these verses next time. . .

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