Abide and Bear

15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. ~ John 15:1

We are the branches, Jesus is the vine, and our Heavenly Father is the vinedresser. What is the role of a vinedresser in the vineyard? First, the vinedresser selects the canes that will grow the branches. Second, he inspects every branch to make sure they are growing properly, and he prunes off any spare or unwanted canes so that the branches can have room to grow and grow vigorously. He doesn’t expect the branch to produce fruit the first day or the first month even, but he does expect them to grow and grow healthy and then, in their season, bear fruit.

Then, he passes through the vineyard again and prunes off all unwanted buds and shoots before the growth spurt leading up to flowering and pollination starts. The vinedresser is always inspecting and always pruning for maximum fruit production. In fact, the whole season is all about pruning for optimum fruit production. He inspects the trunk, which is the vine, and removes any growth that is coming out on it because it is not supposed to be there.

In the parable of the Good Shepherd, Jesus said that if any man does not enter the sheepfold by the door, he is a thief, John chapter 10:1-2. Then, in Matthew 22, He tells the parable of the Wedding Feast. In it, He said that a man came into the wedding without having wedding garments on. When the king came in to inspect the guests, He saw a man there without wedding garments. He asked him how he got in without wedding garments.

The man could not answer, so the king called the attendants and instructed them to bind the man hand and foot and cast him into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Please understand you may look like one of the wedding guests. You may act like one of the wedding guests. You may go to church every Sunday. You may claim to know Jesus. You may even teach a Sunday school class, but if you don’t truly know Jesus, or better yet, if Jesus doesn’t know you… if you don’t abide in His love… if you don’t bear fruit… You don’t have a chance. You will be thrown out into outer darkness.

Dear LORD, please help me to not just go through the motions but to fully submit myself to You. Help me to have a true desire and yearning for You. Teach me to pant for You like a deer pants for water. For You alone have living water. Please forgive me for all the times I chose the things of the world over You. Thank You for Your never-ending love and Your mercy that’s renewed each and every morning. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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