Holder of the Bunches
Verse 4 Remain in me, as I also 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.
Yesterday we talked about how we need to plug into the vine which Jesus referred to Himself as but He also makes a very important point in saying that the Father is the gardener. Today we look at why that important for us to grasp.
As we start looking at the various parts of abiding we need to remember that it is God that has the job of gardener. Why is that important to remember? Because we need to keep in mind that we aren’t the one in charge, nor are we the one with the plan. A vineyard isn’t planted willy-nilly, there is always a plan. God has a plan too.
When He planned out His kingdom He was intentional about how He wanted it to look. He is also very mindful about the tending of the vineyard. He doesn’t let it get overgrown. He knows that for a plant to be fully fruitful it needs to be pruned and managed. Lives aren’t much different.
One of the most notable characteristics of a vinedresser is their dedication to their vineyard. They are in constant care of the vines whether it be pruning in the winter or the care of making sure that the vines are not being choked out by invasive plants or shrubs, getting so intertwined that it is inhibiting the fruit from growing or making sure the vines are getting the needed water. A vinedresser that leaves the vineyard to itself would soon have a fruitless mess on their hands. God doesn’t leave His vineyard to fend for itself either.
The result of all that dedicated work, is the harvest. The most profitable harvests are gained by the most dedicated vinedressers. God is this kind of attentive gardener. He is attentive to His branches to ensure the harvest He has planned for. He prunes and rearranges the branches to get them the highest level of produce. He knows the harvest that He desires and He does what is needed to make it happen. He has grafted us into His vine because He wants us as part of His vineyard. He has fruit that He wants us to bear and He is working every detail needed for the big harvest He has planned.
There is another thing we need to remember about the gardener. He is not only the maintainer of the vineyard, He is the owner. The branches don’t gather the fruit for themselves, the gardener is the harvester and the owner of the harvest. As we go forward in our study about abiding in Him we need to remember that the fruit we are bearing isn’t our own. We are to be bearing fruit for Him. The branches don’t work for themselves but for the one that is dedicated to making them all He has made them to be.
Making It Personal
In what ways have you been trying to bear fruit for your own purposes? Have you submitted to God’s work in your life? What is something that you need to accept about His being the one that should be in charge of your life?
Making It Personal Kids
What does a gardener do? What does God do to help us grow? What kind of fruit does God want us to grow?
Father, thank You for wanting us to be a part of Your vineyard. Teach us what we need to know to be able to grow the fruit You have called us to grow. In Jesus’ name, amen.