“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. John 15:1-5, 8-12 NLT
A question (that we will reveal at the end of this post) came to mind after reading John 15 during Bible study and while watching a video about pruning grapes. But first, we had to learn what was pruning hence the reason for watching the video about pruning grapes.
Here is a short video showing pruning of a vine. Spring Vineyard Pruning
According to google dictionary, to prune is to “trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.” Basically pruning is to strip away dead or overgrown branches to increase growth and productivity. It is to strip away the things that hinder a tree from producing fruit.
So why did Jesus, who is our True Vine and God, the Gardener, want you to know that pruning in the believer’s life is crucial?
Pruning is to help you divert your attention and reliance back to God. It gets those dead things out of your life as well as uproot those things that are distracting you, or harming you and your walk with God, or are useless to your walk with Him, those things that are idols, diversionary battles, weights and besetting sins, bitterness, unforgiveness, ungodly soul ties, etc.
1 samuel 12:21 Don’t turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or deliver because they’re useless.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1 NLT
God wants to cut off those things that keep you bound and pull you away from Him. God is about maturing you spiritually, healing you, and preparing you for each next season of your life and purpose.
The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. Luke 8:14 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11 NLT
God is about building His relationship with you and you being a godly, successful impact on those around you. Jesus went before us and showed us how to bear fruit and not just bear fruit, but much of it. He remained in the Father and stayed in perfect fellowship with the Father. He prayed daily, morning and night. He sought after God first and He lived righteously. He depended on God. He obeyed God. He loved God with all His heart, soul, and strength. And He loved others as He loved Himself. He chose to follow God and stay connected with God daily even at the cost of His life. God may not be asking us to give up our lives physically but He definitely want us to surrender our flesh daily and every area of our lives to His sovereigness and unfailing love.
Jesus said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34 NLT
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
Matthew 22:37 NLT
So what is the fruit we are to bear?
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Do those things that will show you have turned from your sins. Work out your salvation with fear (reverence or respect) and trembling. Philippians 2:12-13 Make your calling and election sure. 2 Peter 1:10 Turn away from sin and turn to God. You can not do this in your own strength. This takes God’s grace, godly sorrow that comes from God, and a habitual reading of God’s Word.
Bear fruit in winning souls to the kingdom. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30 KJV Are you sharing your testimony about the hope of your salvation? Are you encouraging others and teaching others about Jesus? Are you making disciples? Jesus said “therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 NLT And are you trusting in the Holy Spirit to lead you?
Bear fruit in exuding the characteristics of God-fruits of the spirit. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:17-22, 24-25 NLT You dont just do kind acts. You become kind. You become merciful. Your mind and heart are being transformed day by day as you saturate in the Word of God and surrender to the lordship of Jesus.
So in conclusion, provide evidence that you are a disciple of Jesus and fellow co-heir. Provide evidence you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and you love others as you love yourself.
Provide evidence that God has given you a new spirit and is transforming you day by day into the likeness of His Son.
Bearing much fruit is also receiving the life and life to the full Jesus came to give us.
It is living up to God’s standards and learning to depend on God and live in His presence.
It is remaining in Him and staying connected to Jesus, understanding and demonstrating that a part from God you can do nothing. And that is also bearing fruit.
Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. Psalms 127:1 NLT
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord ’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel. Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.
Hebrews 12:5, 11-11, 14-15, 24-29 NLT
Here is the question, we as believers need to ask ourselves, no ask Him?
What things does God need to cut out of your life for you to bear much fruit and show that you are God’s and He is yours?