“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

There was a story years ago of an orange farm in Florida that had a blight that affected a portion of their fruit trees.  They tried to rescue the trees and make them healthy to grow fruit.  The growers were eventually forced to cut their losses and take the trees down to be destroyed.  Newer trees were planted that would be able to produce fruit and profit for the growers in the future.

In this, the last of Jesus seven “I am” statements in John, Jesus teaches that He is the true vine.  As such, His roots are deep to draw in the nourishing water to supply to the branches.  The branches are supported by the vine in order to produce fruit for the grower, identified as the vinedresser, the Father.

One of two futures awaits those who are His children.  Born-again believers should be active in their spiritual walk by sharing the gospel, according to the Great Commission.  Those who follow this command not only fulfill their purpose, but can expect to be pruned, so that they can be even more productive.  Pruning involves cutting off extra growth so that fresh, new, healthy growth can produce more fruit.  It may be painful for a moment, but the results are spectacular in the long run.

There is a very different path that a Christian can follow.  They can be lazy, apathetic, or just caught in a funk where they seem to not care.  These people do not produce fruit.  James made the statement that a “faith without works is dead.”  A dead branch will not produce fruit, and the branches that do not produce fruit are in danger of being removed so that new branches can replace them that will produce fruit.

As Christians, we must take a personal inventory of our intentions and actions to make sure that we are in the business of producing fruit and not being lazy, apathetic, unfruitful branches.

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