John 15

Today’s reading is John 15.
Open your Bible or journal to mark some observations:

+ Highlight the words 'bear fruit'.
+ Highlight the words 'abide'.
Last Sunday night I sat down on my couch after I put my kids down to watch a little Sunday night football. I turned on my tv, but for the life of me I couldn’t get any signal. I was messing around with my rabbit ears, placing them all around the room to try and get signal. Yet I soon found out all of my creative efforts were in vain. I totally missed the fact that earlier that day my 1 year old daughter disconnected my antenna from the TV! It didn’t matter how well placed my antenna was because it wasn’t connected to the source. I had no hope to get any reception. Similarly, when our lives aren’t connected to Jesus, we have no fruit in our lives. We can position ourselves in the right place, and clean up our behavior, but at the end of the day we have to be connected to the source if we want to yield fruit in our lives.
 
Jesus references 4 types of branches in John 15 - branches with no fruit, some fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. Verse 5 clearly shows us that if we want to bear fruit we have to be connected to the source. It seems fairly obvious, if you are connected with Christ you will bear fruit. If you aren’t, there will be no fruit. Though that part is obvious, we sometimes miss this next part. The way Jesus describes the branches transitioning from some fruit to more fruit is a pruning process. If you aren’t familiar with gardening, the pruning process removes areas of a branch with little fruit or rotten fruit, so that the branch has more room to produce more fruit and healthier fruit.
 
As much as I wish it was, the pruning process isn’t always pain free. God often uses trials, pain, and loss as our pruning process. C.S. Lewis said it like this, ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’ Our trials and pain are often times what refine and purify us the most, prepping us for our next season of fruit. These seasons can be incredibly difficult as we may cry, grieve, and or even feel numb. Yet when we remember this is a part of the pruning process, we find joy and hope still because we know there is fruit to come. James tells us we can face this pruning process with pure joy because it is producing perseverance in our faith.
 
If we want to bear fruit in our lives, we have to abide in Christ, but we also need to expect the pruning process. Jesus promised trials in this life, but he also promised to be with us when they come. Remember that when your pruning process is happening to stay the course. Keep abiding in Jesus as much fruit will come from it as you remain faithful.
 
Just for today-
 
+ Consider how you can carve out time to abide this week?
+ Think back to the last ‘pruning’ season of your life. What did God shown you?
Jay Quick | Student Ministries Director

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