Reading through the Bible together

Friday, January 23, 2015

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Fruitless is not a very good condition to be in.  Who wants to be fruitless?  And yet, here Jesus says some will be found fruitless. The Father, as gardener, will cut off those branches and take them away. 

This parable can bring a sense of concern into our lives.  After all, how do we really know that we’re being fruitless or fruitful?  Within the Kingdom of GOD, many times our fruit does not show immediately.  Many times, like the Bible says:  one plants, another waters, and yet another one reaps!  Or one lays a foundation while another one builds upon it. (1 Corinthians 3:5-10).  Here Jesus uses a vine and a branch analogy.  Spend some time gardening and that concern may begin to dissipate.

In my yard, there are trees and bushes.  My two favorites are the apple tree and a special bush.  The bush brings me great joy because it naturally draws many kinds of butterflies to itself.  But it takes a lot of careful work pruning it just right. The apple tree is the same way, it takes work!  One thing I’ve noticed over the years in caring for these two works of GOD, the branches that bear no fruit don’t grow the right way.  What do I mean?  They don’t grow upward to the sun, so they bear no fruit. 

“No plant bears fruit unless it looks at the sun.  No person bears fruit unless they look at the Son of GOD.  “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself:  it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).  Are you keeping your eyes on Jesus? 

Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may full.”  

Christopher Bullock, M.Div.
Pastor in Atlanta, Georgia.
North American Division.