This week, we will explore one of the “I am” passages of Jesus known as “The Vine and The Branches.” Jesus likens himself to a grapevine that gives life and then compares us to branches that bear fruit. The Father is the gardener who monitors our growth.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean (literally “pruned”) because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. (John 15:1-4)
Jesus is the true vine, meaning that he alone is the source of all true, spiritual life. Every other leader or ideology cannot give the life God intends. God wants us to grow in our spiritual life in Christ, so God works to removes the habits and patterns that are counter to the life he intends. This is the pruning Jesus refers to. God then directs our energy toward what brings life, peace, and joy. He does this by the Living Word he speaks to us.
Heavenly Father, prune my life so that I might produce the spiritual fruit you desire.
Our attention, focus, and energy need to be directed toward things that cause us to grow spiritually. The problem is that we live in the world of countless distractions and unceasing pressure. There is always something worldly that needs our attention. If we are going to grow spiritually, we must allow God to prune us. Pruning is a cutting-off from fruitless activity. We often give the best of our energies toward things that have no spiritual value. Worse than this, we give ourselves to worldly things that are counter to the kingdom of God. So allow God to show you what needs to be cut off and make the change. Redirect your energy toward the things of the kingdom and you will quickly find the spiritual growth you seek.