Grow

40 Days Following Jesus: Day 40

“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. John 15:1-8 (NIV)

When we bought our first home, we had two huge pin Oak trees in our back yard. They produced a lot of shade but unfortunately they produced more leaves that were a pain to take up each fall. I do not miss that part.

The problem with pin oaks, as I found out from my uncle, is that as they grow their limbs grow everywhere and will eventually begin to die. These dead limbs need to be trimmed so it doesn’t compromise the trees health by inviting a pest or bacteria. There was also the harm these posed in hanging over my electrical line—hence the reason I called my uncle to see if he could take the chain saw to them.

We had to cut the dead limbs. By cutting the dead limbs we were able to ensure the health of the tree and our electricity should a major storm come 🙂

Following Jesus is similar to a tree growing. Jesus uses the analogy of a vine growing.

If a branch is in the vine, it will always bear fruit. But if a free begins to become unhealthy, stops fulfilling its purpose, it gets some of its dead growth cut off.

Our lives are like a vine that is to be connected to Jesus.

We connect to Jesus by following Him and trusting Him in everything. If we keep our trust always in Jesus, Jesus will always be in us. When Jesus is in us, our lives look different. Our words are different. Our love looks different. Our hearts are different. Our fruit—what people see—let’s others know we are disciples of Jesus.

My next step:
Remain in Jesus by following him and trusting him in everything. Then allow Him to produce fruit in me that identifies me with Jesus.