Bearing Much Fruit
5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. — John 15:5-9
Abide in Christ so you will bear much fruit. Not a vine is planted but that the owner thinks of the fruit, and the fruit only. Other trees may be planted for ornament, for the shade, for the wood—the vine only for the fruit. And of each vine, the husbandman is continually asking how it can bring forth more fruit, much fruit. Believer, abide in Christ in times of affliction, and you will bring forth more fruit. The deeper experience of Christ’s tenderness and the Father’s love will urge you to live in His glory. The surrender of self and self-will in suffering will prepare you to sympathize with the misery of others, while the softening that comes of chastisement will fit you for becoming, as Jesus was, the servant of all. The thought of the Father’s desire for fruit in the pruning will lead you to yield yourself afresh, and more than ever, to Him, and to say that now you have but one object in life—making known and conveying His wonderful love to fellowmen. You will learn the blessed art of forgetting self, and, even in affliction, availing yourself of your separation from ordinary life to plead for the welfare of others. Dear Christian, in affliction abide in Christ. When you see it coming, meet it in Christ; when it has come, feel that you are more in Christ than in it, for He is nearer you than affliction can ever be; when it is passing, still abide in Him. And let the one thought of the Savior, as He speaks of the pruning, and the one desire of the Father, as He does the pruning, be yours too: “Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2 KJV).
So will your times of affliction become your times of choicest blessing—preparation for richest fruitfulness. Led into closer fellowship with the Son of God, and deeper experience of His love and grace; established in the blessed confidence that He and you entirely belong to each other; more completely satisfied with Him and more wholly given up to Him than ever before, with your own will crucified afresh, and the heart brought into deeper harmony with God’s will—you will be a vessel cleansed, fit for the Master’s use, prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:21). —Andrew Murray
Prayer – Dear Father in heaven, help me delight in a closer union with You. I want to produce much fruit, but I get so easily distracted with my own desires and then have nothing left for You. Forgive me, Father! In Your strength and by Your Spirit, do what is necessary in me to help me abide more closely in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.