“I am the True Vine, ” Jesus told His disciples in the upper room, “and My Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch of Mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit, so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.” John 15 :1-3 NLTIf we would live, and flourish, and bear fruit for Jesus, it is vital that we have and maintain a living relationship with Him. Just as the leaves and fruit on the branches of a grapevine are the produced by the life and energy in the sap which flows from the vine, rooted as it is in the rich earth; so our life and growth in His service comes from His Life and Words flowing through us.
The eleven disciples gathered around Him that night had already been pruned and purified by the message He had given them, Jesus said. For three years they had lived with Him, listened to Him, marvelled at Him, been rebuked by Him– but they had stayed with Him, unable to leave Him and His Life-giving words, even though they were unbearably hard at times, causing others to give up on Him. And as they stayed with Jesus, His words changed them, purging out old habits, pruning back when they began to grow in the wrong directions, making them straight and true for His service.
Maintain your relationship with Jesus; spend time with Him, soaking in His words. Welcome His purging and His pruning, for He knows what He is doing with you. And from His Life and His Words, given unrestricted access in your life, His fruit will grow.