My grandfather had a vineyard behind his house in Montezuma, Indiana. As a child I would love to sit with him in the big backyard swing, enjoying his company and eating the grapes we had picked from the vine. As the years progressed, grandpa didn’t have the energy to take care of the grapevines as well as he used to. One day I went up to the vine looking for grapes but only found a few, and those were puny and sour. The branches had plenty of leaves but no fruit.
Nothing but leaves can also describe the amount of fruit that some of us have to show our blessed Lord. We sometimes do so little for Him who has done so much for us. Our Lord desires for us to be growing as we produce fruit and then more fruit, and even much fruit for Him. In John 15 Jesus explains how fruitfulness in the life of a believer glorifies God and produces joy in our lives.
This passage of Scripture also answers the question: how can I be fruitful in my service to Him? Jesus tells us that it is going to take some intense purging in order to get our branches to produce more fruit. As the caretaker of a vineyard must prune away some of the unproductive branches, so must our Lord prune our lives of those things that are stopping us from fruitfulness. Jesus also emphasized intimate abiding as an essential of fruitfulness. Nine times Jesus mentioned the necessity of abiding in Him if we desire to produce more than leaves. Our Lord’s statement in
John 15:5 is so true: “without me you can do nothing”.
I wonder what is the level of our fruit producing? Are we spending our life taking care of ourselves, thinking very little of what we should be doing for the Savior? Do we have that intense desire to show more than leaves to our blessed Master? Let’s allow the Lord to take His shears and snip away the sick, the selfish, and the sinful dead branches of our life and determine to abide in fellowship with Him. Then we can stand back and watch; the grapes will soon be growing again.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation