MORE CUT BACKS
I continue with some more thoughts on John 15. I spoke in my last post about the need to remove dead wood from the vine, however, there needs to be drastic removal of new foliage too! Vines are prolific producers of branches and leaves.
Where I work in Stratford, we have one of each, red and white grapevines. The lady who owns them asked me when I started there last year in June how best to care for them? I said to her ‘what do you want, nice shady cover and lots of leaf and hanging habit, or lots of fruit?’ To which she replied, ‘can’t I have both?’ I said no! If you want lots of fruit, about two thirds of the foliage has to go! It hinders fruit production. I hasten to add, I removed lots of foliage and the crop was enormous. She ate loads, gave loads away and I had quite a few bunches myself.
How do we apply this? Simply, we have a choice to make! Lots of outward form or more inner fruitfulness, individually and in Churches. It is so easy for us as Christians and Churches to look good, look the part, do a slick job of the ‘God stuff!’ Fill our lives and churches with lots of stuff, lots of form and shape, but much of it is empty, meaningless, shallow and unfruitful. I know, I had more of this than I believed possible. Thing is, it looked and seemed right, but when I asked myself, have I matured because of it? Have peoples lives been radically changed because of what I’ve done? Has it, or have I made a difference in Church, others lives and society because of what I have done and who I am, and will I leave a really outstanding and God glorifying legacy because of my life? Sadly the answer to much of this was no, and I have had to deal with it honestly before God and still am.
So, get before Jesus the True vine and ask Him to search your heart and show you if you are fruitful or form full. Repent, ask Him to de- foliage you so that you may bear fruit, more fruit, much fruit and abundant fruit! God bless.