“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:1-2
We want to bear fruit! I don’t have a green thumb, but even I have had success in keeping a plant going for just a little longer by cutting off the dead parts and trimming back the healthy parts. What happens to the part that is trimmed back is that it starts to grow even stronger and blossoms.
In John 15:1-2, Jesus tells us that if we bear fruit, His Father will prune us and we will bear more fruit. That chapter goes on to say that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches and if we abide in Him, and He abides in us, then we bear much fruit (John 15:5). Furthermore, we have the ability to ask for whatever we wish and it will be done. God is glorified when we bear fruit and it proves that we are disciples of Jesus (John 15:7-8).
So we have the imagery of a vineyard
- God is the vinedresser
- Jesus is the vine
- we are the branches
- If we do not bear fruit we are cut off
- If we do bear fruit we..
- abide in Jesus and He in us
- we can ask for whatever we wish and it will be done
- we glorify God
- we, as a result, bear more fruit
At times we may look around and find it difficult to find things that bring us joy, but we can choose to express and display joy over things in our lives. Let me explain. I hate washing dishes, but I can choose to do it with a smile on my face and a happy spirit. Doing it begrudgingly and with a sour face won’t make it more enjoyable or keep me from having to do them. Even if I feel like someone else should be washing the dishes since it is their mess. Choosing joy is the better option.
How can I go about choosing joy?
I can find things to be thankful for, such as the fact that the dishes are dirty because we were blessed to have food to prepare and a meal to eat. I can consider the fact that doing the dishes with joy can make my family feel like I enjoy serving them and set the example for them to serve one another.
But everything in life is not as simple as dishes. Sometimes it’s caring for an ungrateful child, dealing with an illness, or working a miserable job. How can we face these things with joy? That’s where we can turn to God with our request. Not request to change the person or job, or even to get rid of the illness. The first thing we should ask God for is for our hearts to be changed. For Him to align our heart with His. We can pray that we see others as He does, we can thank Him for the very things we complain about and we can ask that hard situations be used to draw us closer to Him and make us stronger.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” – James 1:2-3
Joy allows us to have and show appreciation. Joy allows us to walk through trials knowing that our endurance is being increased. Being joyful brings more joy into our lives, which glorifies God. Let’s commit ourselves to praying for the fruit of joy in our lives. Just like we covered in the love study, it will point others to God, and allow us to glorify Him and draw us near to Him.Til next time, enjoy!