John 15:1-2 – I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (NIV)
I enjoy having a garden during the summer. I enjoy growing things, and I love the taste of fresh vegetables, which are sometimes hard to get here in Alaska. I really like fresh tomatoes, so I try to take very good care of my tomato plants. As many know, on a tomato plant there are branches from the main stem, which are called suckers. To help the plant grow better these suckers should be removed. If they remain, they rob nutrients from the fruitful part of the plant. So to help the tomatoes grow better, I go out and look over the plants and then remove these suckers, so that the parts of the plants which need the nutrients receive them.
In the Scripture today we are told that Jesus is the true vine and that the Father is the gardener. He will cut off branches which bear no fruit, and the vines that do bear fruit he will prune so they will be more fruitful.
My faith has not always produced fruit; I have not always been concerned with helping others in their times of need. Once, I was only concerned with myself. I did not show any kind of love for anyone. It was always about me. As I matured I started to see myself as a sucker on a tomato plant. I said I was attached to the main stem, and I expected to receive all the benefits from that stem, and yet I was not producing any fruit. Now I see that I cannot just sit idly by, but my life has to reflect my faith.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray that we will not be fruitless branches, which will be removed from the vine, but instead may we bear much fruit to glorify you. In Jesus' name. Amen.