[CF Devotionals] 1996-06-28 - Fruit of the Vine

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John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will 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. "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. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.

Jesus is the Vine, we are the branches. Did you realize that the Branches bear the fruit, not the vine? We are branches grafted to the vine; we have been attached to it. In order for a grafted branch to bear fruit it must be of the same basic nature as the vine. It must have the same texture and must be at nearly the same level of growth as the vine; if not then the branch will not receive the nourishment from the vine, and will wither and die.

The fruit Jesus wants is the fruit of love. This is the nature of the vine, and it is to be our nature; we are to love one another AS Jesus loved us. We cannot manage this on our own, but, bless God, we aren't on our own. The Word and Spirit of God are ours, the very Love of God is ours. That Love, born in God's heart, is shed abroad in our own hearts by the Holy Spirit. It comes to us from the Vine, Messiah Jesus, the Head of the Body.

Rom 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

We are to rest from our own Earthly labors and begin to go about the Business of our Head, the business of the Vine. We are to bear fruit for the Vine. We will bear fruit when we allow God's Word and Spirit to conform us to the image of Jesus, for then we will be fully-grafted, and the Love of God will flow through us to bear the Fruit.

Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

And, as was said above:

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love."

Jesus was a branch, and the Father was the Vine. Remember that he said, I do nothing of myself, but that which the Father does, I do. Jesus bore fruit for the Father, and now we must bear fruit for Jesus. The process requires little of us; we must simply choose the Word, the Spirit, and the Love. The Vine produces the nourishment which keeps us healthy, and that same nourishment produces the fruit through us.

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

There is no greater Joy than that of doing the work we were created for. We can only find complete fulfillment in doing the works of our Father. That is because it is innate to our very nature. We were created so as to only be truly complete In Him. Only when we are yielded to Him, and the Love of God is flowing through us producing fruit, can we be totally satisfied.

Father, I draw near to You today, in Jesus name, and I ask You to fill me afresh with the Love from your heart. Lord, I yield my heart to Your Love; let it fill me and move me. I seek to abide continually in the Vine, Messiah Jesus. I choose to continue daily in Your Word, that I might more closely conform to the Vine, that the Life of the Vine might flow through me. I lay down my selfish life for You, for my brothers and sisters, and for those who are not yet my brothers and sisters. I take up the call to be Jesus' friend, and to take care of that which is His business. I choose to bear fruit that will last forever, and so I ask You Father for that which I, and those I will meet, need. You have promised to give it to me that I will bear fruit to Your Glory. And I accept it with that intent. Father, glorify Your Name through us. Make us one that, the whole world shall know that You sent Jesus. I receive it all in Jesus Name.

Grace & Peace,

[email dan] dan4god@aol.com

All verses are from the New International Version Bible (NIV) unless otherwise noted.

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