Friday, November 12, 2004

Bearing Fruit

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5 NKJV

"His purpose is not that you will do more for Him but that you will choose to be more with Him. Only by abiding can you enjoy the most rewarding friendship with God and experience the greatest abundance for His glory.

To abide means to remain, to stay closely connected, to settle in for the long term. With this picutre Jesus is showing the disciples how an ongoing, vital connection with Him will directly determine that amount of His supernatural power at work in their lives." Bruce Wilkinson

I was pondering this morning about "the vine" and what it has to do with me (everything!). By being attached, through Jesus, means to me that I have a living relationship with God Himself. By "staying closely connected" I will grow in my relationship with Him. I'll be nourished and fed by His Holy Spirit, and I'll be able to be used by Him to bear fruit.

Christ has made it abundantly clear that apart from Him I can do nothing. If I am doing nothing then I will eventually wither into lifelessness. I have no desire to spend my life doing nothing, living without purpose, simply moving forward without being involved. I do desire to be involved, actively living, reaching out to others and offering hope.

Of course, to be a healthy branch entails pruning. I don't know anyone who relishes being pruned. I know I don't. What does pruning entail? Sometimes it can be just thinning out the underbrush. Sometimes it is actually removing or detaching. Other times it is just a cleansing, but the outcome is the same. It enables me to be a sturdy branch. A person who has strong roots and connected to the vine. It always causes discomfort and sometimes pain, at least, for me. I have found that if I hold whatever is dear to me in an open hand, it hurts far less than if He has to pull my fingers from around whatever I am holding too tightly.

I find that being in His Word on a daily basis, combined with prayer helps me to stay connected to Christ. That ongoing dialogue through out the day with the living God is a must! As I mature, my desire to grow ever closer to the Lord becomes much stronger. I find that I am richly nourished and I am more intimate with Him. The results? Not only is my life more satisfying but I begin to bear much fruit.

1 comment:

Roger R. said...

Hi Claire... nice to meet you, albeit 'on-line', and glad to have been able to show you around Arborfield. It's looking a bit sad today with all the trees now having shed their leaves, but the sun on the naked branches and what leaves remain is quite stunning. Do continue to comment on all our various efforts on line... my John Clare blog is kept on behalf of the John Clare Society, but the others are just 'us'!