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
STAY PLUGGED IN AND GET SWITCHED ON
We looked at one aspect of fruitfulness a week or so ago with pruning and purging. The second way to be fruitful and stay fruitful and to become abundantly fruitful is to REMAIN IN CHRIST! This simply means that we stay plugged in and keep switched on. It’s how the power goes to your TV or computer or whatever electrical appliance you want to use and how it works or produces programmes!! We can only understand fruitfulness by understanding that like in the natural world, the branches only bear the fruit THEY DON’T PRODUCE IT and neither do they have the power to!
Paul gets it in Galatians 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit is: note the fruit is of, from or produced by the Spirit of God; we only bear it, we cannot produce [God’s] LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, FAITHFULNESS and SELF CONTROL we can only bear it, carry it and convey it “IF” we choose to! If a natural branch is cut off from the trunk it will not bear fruit, but the trunk will continue to produce fruit through other branches! If I cut myself off from the True Vine, Jesus Christ from the sap of the Holy Spirit and the root of God the Father, then my life will become spiritually unproductive, but the Spirit will continue to produce His fruit through other Christians! All that happens if I get the huff is I miss out and all those whose paths cross mine.
So how do I/we remain or abide in Christ? Well this is how I see it. At conversion I was grafted in to Christ and that graft will remain for eternity! But in the mechanism of conversion and grafting, a valve was included in the deal, the contract or covenant! The valve is FREE WILL! I can choose to open the valve every day or I can keep the valve well and truly closed. God will not force us/me to have a daily relationship with Him if I/we don’t want to, but oh how foolish if we don’t! MORE OF THIS TOMORROW! But for now, if you want it, the best is still to come.