The Fruitful Branch

Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine;
no more can ye except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:
without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered;
and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
~ Matthew 15:4 - 6 ~

To be fruitful, we must "abide in the Vine" - in vital union with the true vine,
allowing nothing to come between us and Him.
"Without me," said Jesus, "ye can do nothing." 
The absoluteness and finality of the statement is staggering.
Not "very little," but "nothing."
Cut off from the source of the life-giving sap, we wither and die.
Fruit is impossible when contact is broken.
Such a categorical statement should cause us to stop and ask ourselves
whether we are really abiding and bearing fruit,
or heading for the rubbish heap.
For a maximum yield, the branches of the vine need heavy pruning -
heavier than most other trees.
Unless it is severely cut back, the fruit will be sparse and poor.
So God prunes the lives of His children, cuts back the rank growth of the self-life,
not because He delights to see them suffer,
but that the lives might be increasingly fruitful.
He desires to see His children growing in spiritual maturity.
There is to be a progression - "fruit, more fruit, much fruit."
It is the branch that bears fruit.
{Taken from Enjoying Intimacy with God by J. Oswald Sanders}

That feels the knife,
To prune is for larger growth
And fuller life.
~ Annie Johnson Flint ~

In the process of bringing salvation to the hearts of men, God is ever first.
By His Spirit He invades the heart of the sinner.
Thus the sinner who has now become a saint has received the power to abide in Christ.
The words "abide in me," do not constitute a condition which man must fulfill
in his own power before Christ will do His part.
Far from it.
It is sovereign grace from start to finish,
but the responsibility of abiding in Christ is placed squarely upon man's shoulders,
exactly where it belongs!
~ William Hendriksen ~

Have a blessed Lord's Day!



Unknown said...

Have a blessed Sunday, Stephanie, and thank you so much for sharing, I really needed to read this verse today! :) xx

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Wow, what a gorgeous picture. What a wonderful way to start the day. Thanks for sharing these precious words. Blessings, Linda

Housewife59 said...

So beautiful Stephanie and the picture is perfect

Lesley xx

Elizabethd said...

Your photo alone raises the spirits, your words follow suit.

Debbie Harris said...

I was on my way out the door for church and God tugged at my heart to take an extra minute to begin my day by reading your post. He knew I was in need of what you shared, thank you!

That picture is amazing!!

The Lord bless you on this His day!


donna said...

Thank you so much Stephanie. Hope you have a blessed day.

Mrs. Sarah Coller said...

Thanks for the thoughtful verses and quotes! Hope you're having a nice week. I've posted the new Homemaking Party for the week and would love to have you link up, if you'd like!

Mrs. Sarah Coller

Sherri B. said...

Thank you Stephanie, for this thoughful post. Until I went through some really trying times, I didn't know that hard times really do bring us closer to Jesus than we could have been if life went along without any real bumps. In the end we see the 'proof' of HIs promises..He will never give us more than we can bear and never leave us. xo

Visits With Mary said...

Thank you Stephanie for another beautiful message. I do pray that God keeps me pruned and fertilized!
:~) Blessings♥

Life and Breath and Everything Else said...

Such a beautiful post. This really ministered to me. Thank you.

Debbie said...

Thank you Stephanie. A great lesson once again. I hope your Sunday is blessed and you have enjoyed your day. Have a beautiful week!

Buttercup said...

Beautiful photo! Wishes for a great week.

Ashley~ said...

What a word picture that the more He prunes the more fruit we bear. To think that we should welcome trials because The more we have the more fruit we bear for our Lord. You've given me things to ponder here...
Love you~

sandy said...

Thank you for the beautiful reminder to abide in Him! sandy :)

Gail Dixon said...

Wonderful inspirational words! I was just thanking God this morning for delivering me from my awful ways so many years ago and keeping me on the straight and narrow. God bless!

Pamela said...

A fruitful life is my heart's cry. I want to be willing to endure the pruning so growth can happen. Such a beautiful picture, too.

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