A few years ago I planted a grapevine in our backyard so that I could care for it and to be reminded of one of my favorite scriptures:
“I am the true grapevine, 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. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-4 (New Living Translation)
The life of the follower of Jesus is to bear fruit which glorifies God. In the above passage, Jesus reminds us that we must remain in Him because if we don’t our lives will not be fruitful. And God will not be glorified.
What does ‘remaining’ in Jesus look like in your life?
I’ll share briefly what it means to me. I try my best to start each day off quietly reading a few devotionals and related scripture from the Bible. Then I spend some time reflecting what I’ve read and in prayer. During the day, I often pause and ask God to show me His will for my life, and I ask Him to guide me in my choices. I remind myself that the Holy Spirit lives within me and is my Counselor and Helper. I actively trust that He will live through me. Several times during the week I listen to Christian music and lyrics that are based on scripture. When I’m driving in my car I typically have the radio tuned to a Christian station. This music fills my mind with truth. My wife and I attend church on Sundays and I attend a Bible Study on Wednesday nights.
And when I walk around in my back yard, and glance at the grapevine, I reflect on the significance of staying close to Jesus…. of abiding in Him.
If I’m consistent with the behaviors and thought patterns as I’ve mentioned above, I’m able to see the corresponding fruit in my life. I’m more patient, loving, giving, gentle and have more self control. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23
And when there is fruit in my life, God is glorified.
Over the next few months, as the branches of my grapevine require my attention, I’ll be reminded of the importance of staying close to Jesus.
I encourage you to stay close to Him too!
Have a blessed day!