JOHN 15:1-4: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (NKJV)
OBSERVATION: Am I positioned for fruitfulness? Everyone wants to be fruitful and productive in life. No one sets out with the goal in life to live a so-so life, and achieve little or nothing of value. We all start with big dreams, hopes, and desires. Then, somewhere along the way something happens. It seems our forward progress gets stalled and we may even find ourselves moving backwards, sidewards, or at best standing still. What happened? We have come to a place and a need for direction, correction, and refinement. We have come to the place where we need to be “pruned”!
Every tree that grows up to be healthy and produce the foliage or fruit that it was created to produced needs to be pruned. Along the way some branches create dead spots that impede the growth of the tree. They need to be cut back so that new growth can begin. The tree needs to be fertilized and cared for. When this happens new opportunities for growth and fruitfulness appear.
In my front yard we planted a Chinese Elm tree when we moved into our house 12 years ago. When we first planted it the little tree began to grow and develop. Then something happened. It just stopped growing. Each spring there would be less and less flowers, and the foliage was diminishing. My little tree was in trouble. It needed some emergency care. I began to fertilize it and toward the end of summer, when the leaves were beginning to drop, I carefully pruned all the dead branches and reshaped the tree for growth. Now, to be honest, I am the only one who believes in my little tree at the moment. However, I was excited to see an increase of flowers as spring arrived, and I am believing for a robust recovery!
Many times there is no one who believes in our potential. We may have made so many mistakes that we are tempted to simply settle for less than God intends for our lives. The wonderful news is that God never stops believing in the “little tree” of our lives. In fact, our Heavenly Father delights in trimming back the dead parts of our life so that new life can spring forth. Our Heavenly Father delights in working redemption in the things that we have killed because of our bad choices. The pruning process is never fun, but if we yield to the loving hand of our Heavenly Father – He will always position us for fruitfulness in life!
Jesus has assured us that fruitfulness is our call in life! I am not talking about amassing worldly possessions. I am speaking about fulfilling our divine destiny, of growing in the love and character of Jesus Christ, and of walking in victory over the sin that so easily besets us. True fruitfulness in the Lord is when we begin to produce a robust crop of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is when we begin to see the budding fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control develop and come to full fruition. It is when others can begin to feast from the fruitfulness of our lives and find direction, encouragement, and hope. It is when we are storing up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupt and destroy!
Lord, thank You for Your great love for me this morning! Thank You that You care enough about my fruitfulness that You trim back the dead things in my life (sin, self, failure, shame, wrong choices) – so that I can enter into the living things of Your Spirit (forgiveness, life, obedience, love)! May I yield to Your loving hand. May I position myself for fruitfulness. May I enter into my divine destiny and victory through Jesus Christ my Lord!
In Jesus Name!