“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“ John 15:5 (NIV)
A vineyard is planted for a different purpose than a flower garden. We plant flowers because they are pretty. A vineyard is planted in order to get grapes. The goal is not to harvest flowers, but fruit. Our text clearly states that we are the branches and our job is simple. If we are faithful, God will make us fruitful. And the only way for that to happen is if we stay tenaciously and faithfully connected to the foundation of the trunk. The branch gets its life through the vine from which it grows. It has no life in itself. Which means, if you cut cut it off, it dies.
There are actually four levels of fruit bearing clearly stated in our gospel passage for today.
1 (verse 2a) “does not bear fruit” NO FRUIT-Basket A
2 (verse 2b) “does bear fruit” MEAGER FRUIT- Basket B
3 (verse 2c) “bear more fruit” MORE FRUIT- Basket C
4 (verse 5) “bears much fruit” MUCH FRUIT-Basket D
One author believes that about half of all Christians bear little fruit and only about 5% bear a lot of fruit. The truth is that God the Gardener loves us so much, and is so committed to displaying His glory, that He actively cultivates our lives so that we will move from no fruit, to meager fruit, to more fruit, to much fruit.
How then is it possible to bear much fruits? Firstly, we must abide in His words, in His commandments, and having them abide in us. It is in keeping His commandments, not simply obeying them but guarding them as a sacred treasure, and protecting them from violation.
Another important step is abiding in His love. We must prove we love God by lovingly keeping His commandments not out of compulsion. We are to exhibit sacrificial love to others. This becomes evident with our willingness to lay down our lives so that we can serve or lead them to Salvation. And then, It is abiding in that fellowship with Him which finds its natural expression in prayer(communion with Him. ) Thus the channels of communication are kept open between the vine and the branches, and the lifeblood flows freely from the one to and through the other.
Beloved, which basket represents the status of your spiritual life right now? If today were to be the harvest day, how many grapes do you think would be in your basket? Since you gave your life to Christ, what kinds of fruit have you been bearing? Are you struggling to do the right thing that can make you bear much fruits? Do you depend on divine instructions before you make decisions? Ask for help from the gardner today and your life will be a great reflection of his grace and glory.