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A Fruitful Vine

"I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Gardener. He lops off every branch that doesn't produce. And he prunes those branches that bear fruit for even larger drops. He has already tended you by pruning you back for greater strength and usefulness by means of the commands I gave you. Take care to live in me, and let me live in you. For a branch can't produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from me.

"Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do a thing. If anyone separates from me, he is thrown away like a useless branch, withers, and is gathered into a pile with all the others and burned. But if you stay in me and obey my commands, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! My true disciples produce bountiful harvests. This brings great glory to my Father."

John 15:1-8 (TLB)

One sunny morning Joshua Sila, from Nairobi, Kenya, woke up to the sounds of birds chirping. He looked out his window and saw that it was the long tendrils of his passion fruit plant that had attracted the birds. Joshua recalled Jesus' words in John 15:5 and meditated on the verse with curiosity, knowing that the Holy Spirit had brought it to his mind to reveal something to him.

Joshua realized that the image of the vine in John 15:5 and his passion fruit plant have something in common - they both have winding, clinging branches that bear fruit. They don't have trunks; they cling to nearby objects for support, and their branches grow out of the vine. In John 15:5, Jesus was making it clear to us that he supplies our needs and makes it possible for us to flourish.

In order to thrive and bear fruit, climbing plants depend on a strong central vine and require occasional pruning. Jesus is our true vine, and when we remain connected to him, we can bear much fruit. All we need to do is receive and rest in Jesus' love. Just as a plant's nutrients flow from the vine to its branches, God's divine love flows from Christ to us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, as we cling to you, restore our peace and hope and remind us how much you love us, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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