Looking out of the window I see trees with countless branches. Each one is unique in shape and size. Jesus says that I need to think of myself as being like one of these branches, except that His tree is a vine, intended to produce very special grapes. As a follower of Jesus, the meaning of my life can be summed up in this amazing picture, a branch securely attached to Him for my every need and, as a result, growing precious and lasting fruit.
If the branch, that represents me, remains fixed to the vine that is Jesus, and I am willing for any dead wood of my beliefs and behaviours to be pruned, then the fruit that grows will surely display His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness and His self-control. If I do bear such fruit, there will be no doubt to whom I am attached, because, as Jesus says in Matthew 7:16, you cannot gather grapes from a thorn bush.
Through this picture Jesus helps His followers to answer two of the biggest questions that man can ask: who am I and what am I doing here? If the branch of a cultivated vine had the ability to seek an answer to these questions it would surely be satisfied with this simple answer: you are part of a vine, expect to be pruned, and so bear much fruit. It seems that we also need seek no further for the meaning of our lives: remain in Jesus, let God remove what He sees as unfruitful, and allow His precious character to grow in our lives.
The world so desperately needs this special fruit.
Prayer: Father, You are the vinedresser. I am willing to let You remove from my life all that is not growing good fruit, for I want to fulfil my personal destiny of being a vine branch bearing bunches of grapes that are truly a delight to You. Amen.
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