Are you securely attached?
Scripture reading for November 2nd: John 13-17
Several years ago, I planted two grape vines in my back yard along the fence. I had used these potted vines as a sermon illustration of Jesus’ teaching in John 15. I studied grapes and found that they were one of the most widely grown crops in the world. There are many different varieties and colors and people love to eat them fresh, as juice, or as wine. They also need cultivation and tending to be the most fruitful and healthy. Dead and diseased branches need trimmed off and the vines trained to grow in the arbor. The branches are not good for anything but producing fruit.
Jesus used this great agricultural example to teach his disciples about their need to stay attached to Him! Jesus said that He was the true vine and the disciples are branches. If they would just “abide” in Him and allow His Word to “abide” in them, they would produce much fruit. (John 15:7) Being a branch is all about “abiding”! It doesn’t sound too hard to understand! A branch that doesn’t remain attached is good for nothing but the fire!
Jesus also went on to say that His Father was the gardener who tended the vine. (John 15:1) All fruitless branches were pruned off to keep from wasting precious nutrients so that those branches that were abiding could use those nutrients to produce fruit. Fruitful branches are pruned and trained to maximize fruit production. God is glorified when His branches produce much fruit! (John 15:8) Branches that produce no fruit are trimmed off and are good for nothing but the fire.
After four years the original potted vines were nearly 20 feet long and covered a section of a wooden fence that I planted them near. I took two branches off these vines to church for a sermon illustration. One branch had 12 clusters of grapes on it and a second branch had none! I had cut them off and after just one hour, they were already wilted. It is amazing how quickly they die without attachment!
The lesson for us is plain and simple. We must stay attached to the vine and also bear fruit. This takes a relationship with God through His Word and prayer! Are you securely attached and producing? Today is the best time to affirm your attachment!