Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 6, 2016
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Much fruit that remains is the goal of a disciple of Christ. This glorifies God and accomplishes His purposes. Fruit- bearing glorifies God because He is the source of life for the fruit. No fruit can be produced without God. The branch is intrinsically dependent on the vine.
Therefore, we as followers of Christ cannot take credit for the fruit because the fruit comes from Jesus. He is the manufacturer of fruit and we are the distributors. The fruit remains luscious as the Father prunes back the unproductive branches. We do not always invite pruning, as it is painful and disfiguring in the beginning. But over time, submission to painful pruning produces beautiful and long-lasting fruit. Trust your heavenly Father with the pruning process, and you will be much better off.
So, what is the nature of this fruit He is creating and nurturing through us? It is the fruit of character and souls. As we abide in Christ, we become more like Christ. This is a natural result of remaining in Him. We become like the ones we hang out with the most. We start to love more unconditionally because God is love. We experience a fullness of joy because the joy of the Lord becomes our strength. A holy contentment flushes our countenance because the peace of Christ reigns over our hearts. An unselfish servant spirit fills our heart because Jesus set the ultimate example of servanthood.
Fruit-bearing is character-driven on behalf of souls for the glory of God. Character is a conduit for the Holy Spirit to draw others to Himself. You are saved for more than goodness. You are saved to bridge others to God. Much fruit that remains is the result of God working through a humble, obedient, and submitted life for His glory.
Therefore, it is imperative you remain in Christ for maximum fruit-bearing. This is the position from which God leverages His greatest works. It is from here that much fruit is produced, and where the results remain with eternal consequences. You remain in Christ by faith. It all comes back to trust in Him. You take Him at His word. You believe His word. You obey His word. Remaining in Christ is not an onerous task. It will be painful at times, but not burdensome. Early on, allow God to sever the small green twigs of sin that bud on the branch of your life. This is much better that waiting for His massive pruning. Bad branches distract and hold back fruit-bearing.
You also remain in Him as you live in community with other believers. They become God’s encouragers and pruning shears as well. Men need to get real with men, and women need to be transparent with women. Relational honesty and unity is one of God’s ways of remaining in Christ. Learning, growing, and applying God’s truth automatically defaults to remaining in Him. Seek out truth religiously and relentlessly. Be a model of remaining so others will be inspired to do the same. Branches do not thrive in isolation, but in the orchards of evangelism and discipleship. As a result, we remain in Christ.Then the fruits of character and souls are harvested on an eternal scale, all for the glory of the great gardener, God.
PrayerHeavenly Father, by faith I abide in You so I can bear much fruit for Your glory.
ApplicationWho can I learn from that is a good example of bearing much fruit?
Related ReadingToday’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.
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