The Fruit, Day 4

January 4th, 2011

Key Scripture:

John  15:2a.  "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; ...

Key Idea:

... fruit is the one thing the branch is for, and that if it bear not fruit, the husbandman takes it away.
-- Murray

Pray for revelation:

Our Father, Thou comest seeking fruit. Teach us, we pray Thee, to realize how truly this is the one object of our existence, and of our union to Christ. Make it the one desire of our hearts to be branches, so filled with the Spirit of the Vine, as to bring forth fruit abundantly.
-- Murray

Key words:
Fruit - one of those words that translates very well from Greek to English. It means exactly what you think it should. Fruit.
Take Away - to lift up and away.

The purpose of the branch is to bear fruit. Sometimes it feels like life is a fruitless experience, and bearing fruit is just too much extra work. But think of this, all a branch does to produce fruit is to just stay attached to the vine. Fruit comes naturally.

No matter how hard the storms rage, and the wind blows, and the branch waves around, the branch that stays attached just keeps on bearing fruit. All that waving in the breeze doesn't add to, or take away from the fruit producing. Even if the fruit falls off, don't worry, there's more where that came from.

Seriously, when life bogs us down, long hours are worked, family life has us stressed, a medical emergency arises, in all those ways the storms of life rage against us, and our branch is waving around out there in the breeze, all we need to do is stay connected. Branches bear fruit naturally. If feelings are dead, reconnect, check your connection and let Jesus, the vine, live through you, the branch.

The relationship that we have with Jesus gives nourishment and power, just as the vine supplies life giving sap to the branches. If that flow is cut off, branches die. They not only have the life giving nourishment cut off that produces fruit, they run the risk of drying up themselves. They turn into a branch that may be physically in touch with the vine, but all of that life giving power is gone. The branch starts looking dead, and not growing.

Dead branches are ones that have somehow lost their connection to the vine. Others might be ones that have grown so large and have too much wood to support any new fruit. All their sap goes to growing themselves larger, and larger. Sometimes an outside force has broken the stem of the attached branch. Even though a healing takes place, enough damage has been done to make it handicapped. It may continue to live, stay a nice green color, but the fruit just doesn't come. Or the fruit is smaller, or fewer.

The great thing is that when fruit does appear, it's still fruit. Not poisoned, or ruined, just smaller. It is still useful.

When branches just hang fruitlessly around, the farmer comes along and takes them away. The original word in Greek means something like to lift them up and away. Snipped off and unceremoniously tossed aside.

God, the farmer knows what your fruit looks like. He knows what dead wood is. He won't snip you out, or toss you aside while you are staying healthy and attached. You never have to worry about the danger of fellow branches pruning you away.

Rubbing shoulders with others in the world, whether they are fellow branches, or branches of trees that aren't of God, can be tiresome and discouraging. Waving in the breeze may make our fruit fall off. No matter how bad it gets, only the farmer can take away our place in the vine. Nobody else.

Stay attached, and let the fruit grow.

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