This month we are focusing on LOVE, the first fruit of the Spirit. We have studied how we show God’s love to others through intercessory prayer and Christian service. This week we’ll look at how God’s love grows inside our spirits and produces fruit for God’s kingdom. Join me as we study how to abide in the vine.By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit...John 15:8 Click To Tweet
Jesus explains what living the true Christian life is like by comparing it to a vinedresser (God) who cares for the branches (those saved by grace), which are attached to the true vine (Jesus).
God prunes every branch by either cutting away those that don’t produce any fruit or by pruning a fruitful branch to make it more productive. Either way, we’re all going to feel some pain on occasion when God comes to inspect us!
Jesus then defines the consequences of rejecting Christ: “‘If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned’” (John 15:6 NKJV).
On the other hand, Jesus promises to those who accept Him: “‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples’” (John 15:7-8 NKJV).
Are you a gardener? If so, you’ll best understand the principle of pruning and cutting. We trim off dead branches to make way for new growth, in addition to watering, fertilizing, and sunning our plants for maximum growth and yield.Want to be fruitful? Yield to God's pruning shears... Click To Tweet
Jesus, as our gardener, looks at the fruit of our spirits. We are designed as flowering branches, expected to grow abundant fruit by yielding ourselves to His loving care–as well as yielding to His pruning shears.
Daily we ask for forgiveness through Christ’s blood that He shed at the cross and ready our spirits to receive His nourishment. As the Holy Spirit flows through our lives, like water inside branches, we are filled to overflowing, without sin or iniquity blocking the flow.
Jesus also cultivates us by cutting away any dead works, pruning us to the nub so that more sap can get through. Since we are connected to Jesus through faith after we’re born-again, our vines are fed by the sap of the Holy Spirit, automatically allowing us to bear much fruit.What does God prune away in our lives? Perhaps things like... Click To Tweet
What does God prune away in our lives? Perhaps things like bad habits, wrong thinking, or negative attitudes and words. Sometimes it may involve losing friendships or changing activities that are leading us down wrong paths. And yes, this cutting away can be very painful.
Although pruning represents a loss in our lives, it’s necessary so we can produce abundant fruit. As spiritual branches, we have a choice: either be withered, cut off, and burned up in God’s fire OR abide in the vine and bear much fruit.
God also promises to give us our heart’s desire if we plant His Word in our spirits. Isn’t that a sweet promise to claim?
Our goal is to bring God all the glory by bearing much fruit for His Kingdom.
How has the Lord been using His pruning shears in your life?
Dear Lord, we humbly ask You to cultivate us to be more fruitful. May we willingly yield our lives to your pruning shears. Help us to bear much fruit so we can bring you abundant glory. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2020: Love is Bearing Fruit for God’s Kingdom: Author Karen Jurgens: All Rights Reserved
Karen Jurgens, a Cincinnati native, is a Texan transplant for thirty-five years and counting. Retired from a teaching career, she writes for the Lord, edits fiction, and speaks on Christian topics.
Karen is a Senior Editor, Bible Study Writer, and devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More. She is the Co-Editor and a contributing author for Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
Karen holds a B.S. and M.Ed. in Secondary Education with majors in English and French. She is currently a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
Karen’s first novella, published in an anthology, became the springboard for Desire’s Promise and A Perfect Fit. Blogging led her to Inspired Prompts Blog, then Heart “wings” Ministry where she served as Leader for the Front Porch Bible Study Series. Some of her blog posts are also published in Heart“wings” Devotional, as well as in other ministries and blogs.
Currently, she is revising her Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study for publication. Her work-in-progress is a memoir about her “Judas Experience,” a celebration of God’s supernatural deliverance from the enemy’s kiss of deception.
Passionate about how to find God’s peace through life’s storms, she blogs at Touched by Him, her ministry blog.
Karen loves to cook, entertain, and enjoy life with her two adult daughters and her amazing 98-year-old mother.
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