Jill Jarrell Newsome
Yesterday as I was driving I noticed a tree that had lost a large limb. It made me think of the scripture. John 15: 5-8, “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."
If you notice in the picture below the branch is no longer attached to the tree. In less than a week the leaves have already withered. The dead brown debris will be left on the side of the road to be hauled away. The branches that are still attached have green leaves because they depend on the tree for life. I think back on my life. There was a time that I was that branch that withered. However, I did not know it. I thought I was living the high life and having fun. And that was really all that mattered. What I do know now is that I was not bearing any fruit.
As soon as I decided I wanted to be a disciple I knew I would have to bear fruit. God designed us to bear fruit. We are told, "if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit." To remain in Him means to obey Him. While no one is going to obey all the time that should be what we strive to do.
Pruning is the process of cutting limbs from a tree or plant to keep it healthy and productive. When branches that bear fruit are pruned they bear more fruit. After a hurricane many trees have been pruned just as when we go through tough times God is pruning us. He is not concerned with our comfort and happiness. He is more concerned with pruning the self-centeredness and selfishness out of our lives . We will be healthier and more productive. During these times we are connecting to Jesus. We are growing in character, changing and becoming more Christ like. The fruit confirms that our hearts have been transformed. Jesus will make us more beautiful and better than we already are. Jesus wants the absolute best for our lives!