By: Rob Peralta
I recently blindly opened my bible, as I frequently do (to let the Lord lead), and came upon (John 15:1-2) it says " I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, He discards. And every branch that beareth fruit, He prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit"
It is amazing how the Lord says so much truth in so few words. Let me tell you the truth I received from these words. The first words " I am the true vine" is a fascinating analogy of "who" the Lord is. We can believe that the Father's being flowed through the Son, and by the Son all life and form came. In imaging the vine, as it is pulsating, breathing, it is giving life through out it's being. We can see our Lord pervading all life and matter(the true vine), and as such He is a part of the good and bad. Aware of His good parts and sadly aware of His bad parts.
His Father, the gardener (ultimate judge) cannot accept the rotten or useless branches, and as such must eliminate them, lest they spread and destroy even the good branches.(Reminds me why the devil was "pruned" out of heaven). Then the Father carefully cares for the "good branches" and helps us to bear fruit to make the Father and Son proud. Just as a gardener stands proud of his beautiful vine.
After reading this I was inspired to talk about this "fruit". How can we produce more of it? The first thing is to stand strong against "sin". Our Christian walk is a lifelong process of sanctification and our sins are not eliminated immediately. I recently was greatly tempted to engage in a previous lifelong sin, which to me, was a dire one. I was in need of some serious help and I prayed earnestly for strength from the Lord and I also rebuked the devil. IT WORKED! Right after I immediately felt relieved. The more victorious we are to each sin temptation, the STRONGER our armour of God becomes. Another bolt is added to our tank. The devils bombs (temptations) become less tempting and our steadfastness becomes easier.
As we continue in our walk, with more and more victories, our mind and heart naturally turns to producing fruit due to the confidence we have in overcoming "sin". God's spirit is pleased and helps us to produce two different types of fruit. One is the fruit produced by showing God we love HIM, and the other fruit is produced by showing our BROTHERS AND SISTERS we love them. By showing God we love Him, the fruit we produce is by keeping His Commandments AND teaching people to obey His Commandments. Also a VERY important fruit to produce is to FEAR Him(hold Him in reverence). Just as the wise man Solomon said ( Ecc. 12:13) " For this is the sum of all that matters, FEAR God and keep His Commandments, for this is the WHOLE DUTY of man".
In producing fruit concerning our brothers and sisters, we become to them, better givers, listeners, and helpers. The down and out, the poor, the sick, strike a cord in us and we reach out to be there for them. A most beautiful fruit is produced and the great "Gardener" stands back and admires this.
In summary, let us make our best effort daily, beginning each day with a thankful prayer. For when we STAY in the vine and produce fruit, we make our Lord and our God, most proud. Amen.