Fruit, more fruit, abundant fruit.
John 15 The Message (MSG)
The Vine and the Branches
15 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, [the relationship] intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.
There are two KEYS to being fruitful, being more fruitful and being abundantly fruitful. The first is pruning, the second is remaining in Him! The first is the Fathers responsibility the second is mine/ours!
1] PRUNING the Greek word for pruning is catharsis, to cleanse, purge or drain, it’s where we get our word catheter from. Pruning removes old, dead and unfruitful branches and purges the good ones to be more fruitful. Last autumn I had to heavily prune two shrubs, the Magnolia and wisteria. The Magnolia was resplendent with blooms this Spring because of the heavy pruning and the wisteria has 100s of flowers, more than ever. It looks awful when the pruning is done, but the net result is the best is yet to come and it certainly did in the case of the two shrubs.
I was reading in my word for today omnibus edition for April 26th and the notes I had made were for 2010, it was a very difficult period of my life. My main source of income had gone, I was struggling at Church and with loneliness. It seemed like the Lord had cut me back to the barest of buds! All I could hold on to was a word the Lord gave me [REST FOR THIS SPRING BECAUSE IT’S SOON GOING TO GET VERY BUSY! ENJOY THE REST AND ENJOY ME!] It seemed an impossibility but I held on to that word, and I also [REMAINED IN HIM] I didn’t blame God and I stayed plugged in and switched on to Him DAILY in His word and prayer no matter how I was feeling. On the 3rd of June that year of 2010 and the day before my birthday, I picked up 2 weeks work as a trouble shooter getting gardens ready at a care home in Stratford Upon Avon that the Matron [who goes to my Church] got me. The new gardener was going to start pending on his CRB check. Whatever happened I don’t know, but his CRB failed. The residents said to the management, “why not keep John on! We like what he’s done so far!” That was 5 years ago this June. I picked up more work through that care home plus other private work. I have been so blessed by God simply by allowing Him to prune back that which was unfruitful. It’s not easy I tell you and our natural mind thinks it’s crazy, but as long as IT IS GOD doing the pruning not yourself, then you’ll bear fruit, more fruit and even abundant fruit.
So whatever it is you’re going through, [believe me] on earth and in eternity for those who love Him and remain in Him, THE BEST IS YET TO COME. I’ll look at remaining next time. Have a blessed Lord’s day.