THE ROUTE TO DEATH
“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. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned (John 15:5-6 New King James Version).
Ever notice when you take apart a bunch of bananas, they begin to turn from green-yellow to yellow to spotted to brown much faster than if you left them attached to each other? Pondering this brought today’s verse to mind. Jesus was saying apart from Him, we will rot, we will wither and there will be nothing left to do with us other than throw us into the fire. We cannot sustain ourselves apart from Him.
In the natural order of things, fruit ripens on the tree and is plucked for food, falls to the ground as nourishment for wildlife, or as fertilizer for the ground itself, with the seeds bringing forth new vegetation. As Children of God, we were created to stay attached to Him, to have fellowship with Him and our Brothers and Sisters in Christ; we were created to worship Him, to love Him, to learn of Him and from Him. We were created as social creatures, building up others as we ourselves are built up. This is the fruit we bear while attached to the vine; and while attached, our fruit is plentiful, feeding those whom God chooses us to feed. Our fruit will also be seed bearing.
We have to be careful we don’t cut ourselves off from the main vine in our walk. We must not think ourselves capable of being fruitful without fellowship, without teaching, without correction or pruning. Once we believe we are our own teacher, we’ve cut ourselves off from the vine and are trying to sustain ourselves on our own. This is dangerous, as now the rotting process has begun. We cannot grow when we are by ourselves; we cannot speak life into others when life is not being spoken into us. I am not talking about those who temporarily desire solitude, as Jesus, Himself, went into the desert, fasting for 40 days alone. I’m talking about those in the Church who believe they are better off by themselves, and so they refuse to belong to a church, they refuse to submit to authority, they refuse to fellowship with other believers all under the guise that God is the only person they need to listen to because everyone else is flawed. I’ve got news for you, God knew what our flaws would be before any of us were ever born and because He loves us so, He still called us to be His children and enjoy fellowship.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this blessing of another day! Thank You for loving us so much that You called us to be Your children and that we can be fruitful. May we remain attached to Your vine, may we allow Your pruning and care for us. May we welcome Your correction. Father, we pray for those that have cut themselves off, may it not be too late for them to be re-grafted to Your vine. Father, Your tender mercies are so great, may they see the error of their ways and may they come to Your feet in repentance. You are faithful to forgive and You are merciful, may they be welcomed back. Father, may Your children have mercy on them as well, for You have forgiven us much, may we be willing to forgive them. Father, we love You and we desire to be who You’ve called us to be. Father, may we recognize any opportunity to share Your love with others, may we have an encouraging word from someone today. We give You all praise, all honor and all our worship, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Do you know anyone who has cut himself or herself off from the Vine? If so, pray for them. If not, pray that those you know remain attached to the vine.
Additional Scriptures: John 15:1-17; Isaiah 5:1-10
The trees of the garden should bear more fruit than the trees of the forest (Christopher Love).