March 11, 2017
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. . . . Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit – John 15:1,8
I love blueberries. When I learned that they were easy to grow in my area, it was not long until I had planted five bushes. Eagerly, I watched for blossoms and then fruit. It took a while, but by the third season, my spindly little plants had grown into fruit-bearing bushes. Their creamy-white blossoms brought beauty every spring, and were followed by plump, juicy berries in the summer. By the fifth year, the mature bushes were loaded with enough berries for the neighbors as well!
Those bushes always produced blueberries, and only blueberries. The fruit was simply an outgrowth of the kind of bush I had planted. An appropriate amount of plant food kept the bushes vigorous, and some judicious pruning made them stronger and healthier. I enjoyed an abundant harvest every year that I lived in that location.
The Bible teaches that people also produce fruit. The fruit of our lives is manifested both in personality and in actions; it is an outgrowth of who we are. The Master Gardener looks for the fruit of righteousness in our lives, but we cannot produce it by ourselves. We need to be connected to Jesus Christ, the True Vine, and then we need to choose the right nutrients to nourish the inner man. Our Father has endless resources to commit to our well being, but it is our choice to utilize them. We can feed our souls with His Word, the fellowship of the saints, and communion with Him, or we can allow ourselves to be sidetracked by the things of this world that hold a promise of happiness but never satisfy. If we stay attached to the True Vine and constantly nourish our souls with His nutrients, the outgrowth in our lives will always be the fruit of His Spirit.
The sharp pruning instrument of His discipline also encourages the “peaceable fruit of righteousness.” And we have a part to play in this process, too. Our part is to respond positively to His discipline (see Hebrews 12:11). When we submit to His correction, we will be stronger Christians for it.
The Master Gardener is interested in upgrading the quality and quantity of the fruit in our lives. By His grace, and through His mercy, we can bring forth much fruit for His glory.