“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5 NKJV
One of the things that always stands out to me in this passage is when Jesus says, ”the Father is taking away the branches that don't bear fruit and the branches that do bear fruit He prunes.” Either way, God will prune us so that the vine will bear more fruit. The other main thing is the verb, ‘Abide.’ Jesus says ‘abide’ and ‘remain’ a combined 12 times in this passage… it must be important to Jesus for us to actively remain abiding in Him. In fact, it is a command. We cannot bear fruit apart from abiding in Christ. Even though it might hurt to get pruned, it is much better to “abide” and get pruned than to get cast into the fire.
So how do we abide? Abiding in Christ is continuing to live in our given condition, lingering and meditating on God through the process. Part of that is being patient and still, which is not something we enjoy doing. It’s really difficult to stay still and trust in God when the world around you seems like it’s out of control, but He is using these situations to prune us and make us more fruitful. Actively abiding is really a fight to remain still when things are pulling our attention and focus away from Jesus. More than anything He desires for us to be with Him… to just dwell in His presence. This command requires us to trust Him even more.
Jesus, thank You for pruning me so that I can be more fruitful for Your kingdom. Holy Spirit, help me to abide in Your Love. Help me to have the patience to grow in the situations that I am in right now and to trust You through the process, Amen.
John Matarazzo, Worship Leader + Production Leader
North Braddock Campus