I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:8-13)
Jesus tells us that he is the vine and that we are the branches. If we love him and follow him, he will be in us and we will bear fruit. Jesus tells us that if we follow his teachings, that our joy will be complete. Further, he reminds us to love one another as he loves us. The image of the vine is very familiar to us here in the Napa Valley where vines are carefully and skillfully trimmed and tended. When vines are not tended, the fruit does not form as plentifully as it could. We must “trim” off the excess vines in our lives that hinder our growth, that cause our “fruit” to not be as plentiful. In this way, the things we do to serve others can grow stronger and bear more fruit. Today, think of the things you do in your life that do not bring you or others joy. Maybe today is pruning day! Your healthy vines will grow and flourish. New light will be upon your leaves and new airflow through your vines. Soon, you will bear much fruit! Joy to you this new day!
-Submitted by Laura Lewis
What are some of the ways that you “abide” in Jesus? What commitments or behaviors have you heard other Christians say have helped them to remain “connected to the vine”? Prayerfully choose one new way you will seek to deepen your abiding in Jesus.
Jesus said his way of life leads to love and joy: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete…Love each other as I have loved you” (verses 11-12). Would those who know you best say “love” and “joy” describe your life? What experiences or fears block you from experiencing God’s love and joy?