Peace of Mind Part V

My, Devotion to Him #286

Verse Passage: John 15:1-11 “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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” – NIV.

Reading through some history, we can find that the economy of Israel at this time was predominantly agricultural. There were a lot of farmers and fishermen, etc., but they all understood at least the fundamentals of what Jesus is saying here. Which has made Jesus one of the most excellent speakers. Throughout much of His messages, the fundamental ideas of what He is saying are clear. They have remained throughout history to such an extent that in today’s world, as we read Jesus’ words, we can still see the fundamentals. The foundation that He builds upon. 

The Vine 

The vine is the source of life to the branches of the vine. If a vine remains untended, it would still bear grapes for a while. But it produces much, much more when it is tended and cared for. 

God the Father is identified as the Master of the Vineyard, or the one who is caring for this vine. Once the dead and broken branches are pruned away from a vine, the new and existing branches can spread out and grow into the vacated space. The vine also no longer has to try to support the dead and weak branches.

The Branches

Healthy branches don’t do a whole lot. They may wave in the breeze or storm, bend under the weight of their fruit (hopefully). The branch is utterly dependent upon the vine for life. As long as the branch remains healthy and attached to the vine, the energy that pours into the branch causes fruit to be produced, which is the same operational method of the Holy Spirit and the Fruits of the Spirit. If the flow of sap to the branch is blocked or slowed, the branch will not stay healthy and will not produce fruit to its full potential. The job of the branch is simply to abide. That’s it! The branch can do nothing at all on its own. Indeed if it were not abiding, the Lord has promised to remove that branch.

How do we as branches abide? If we keep Jesus’ commandments, we will abide in His love. That love, which is leading Him to calvary at this point, is the only reason any of us as human beings have life. Jesus’ summary of the commandments left us with instructions to love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength; and love our neighbors as ourselves. If we can do these things, we will be very different from the world. Different in a way that many people will find appealing when they see it is constant and authentic. Others will develop hate towards us, but the Father will be glorified when people see this distinction. People gravitate toward things they like. As we produce good fruit, people will see a difference in us and will be drawn to that. 

The Lord even tells us why He is imparting this bit of information. He wants to fill our lives with His joy. The unspeakable joy that comes when a coworker bows their head and quietly asks Jesus into their heart, or a friend, a son, or daughter. It is a sharp contrast to the emotional struggles the disciples are going through during this instruction of Jesus. I doubt more than a few of them, if any, could digest this information at that moment. They had it stored in their minds for the Holy Spirit to recall when they were able to understand.

We can have peace about things as we abide in Him. As we abide in Him, we will start to grow fruit. Those fruits will attract others to take interest. Those who have taken interest have a chance to hear the good news. Those who hear the good news and want to abide within Him also may have the exact same peace that is given to us. How amazing is that! 

God bless. 

Copyright © 2022 by Jacob Olinger

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