“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus' teaching here is the crux of being fruitful. There is no fruitfulness in Christian terms apart from abiding. Abiding in Christ is the aim of discipleship. Prayer, meditation, study, obedience, and following the teachings of Jesus is what is necessary to be like Jesus. As we abide we bear fruit. As we bear fruit we are a pruned (go through trials, tests, challenges). As we are pruned we bear even more fruit. None of this is possible without putting everything in Christ.
Fruit comes naturally as a result of abiding in Jesus. What I love so much about this teaching is not only are we abiding in him but he is abiding in us. The spirit of Christ is invested and infused in ours. This mutual abiding is how we become Christlike. Until we do that we bear no fruit and we don't deserve to be called Christian. Love- Live-Obey- Abide.
Lord teach me how to abide deeply in you. I want to lose myself in you. Keep me connected. Engulf me in your love and your word. Immerse me in your way. Prune away everything that is not pleasing in your sight. Abide in me Lord. Abide in me. In Jesus Name.
Questions for Meditation
Do you experience yourself abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in you? If so describe it.
If not why do you think that is?
Have you experienced being pruned? How did it help you grow?
What kind or fruit have you born through abiding? What kind of fruit do you hope to bear?
Now pray in your own words that God would abide deeply with you as you abide deeply with God