John 15: 1-8 (NIV) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
I love the picture that Jesus paints for us in this passage; I am a simple thinker and this really speaks to me. Jesus is the vine, we are the branches and our Heavenly Father is the gardener.
We often say that we look to see what someone's life is like by their fruit, and I am not saying that is not right, but as I was thinking about this passage, it dawned on me, that I am not capable of bearing fruit on my own. My responsibility is to stay connected to the vine (Jesus) And I have to make sure that I do not have areas in my life that would prevent the vine from feeding me what I need to continue to be a healthy branch. The gardener (my Heavenly Father) will do the pruning, which is not pleasant but necessary, and it is to the degree that I allow the gardener to prune me that determines how much fruit I will bear.
Over the years, I have been pruned back to almost nothing many times, but each time I am pruned, I bear more fruit for His Kingdom and for His Glory. If your Heavenly Father is pruning you today, don't fight it, let Him do it and you will see how much fruit He can produce through you. And by the way, pruning is not something that only happens once in our life time, if we want to continually bear fresh fruit, we have to be continually pruned.