“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1-5, ESV)
God is our Father, He is our creator, and creator of all things. When we accept Jesus as truth, and believe fully in Him, we are adopted by God as His true children. We all become sons and daughters of God and are given the promise to spend eternity with Him.
We often focus only on the promise of eternity with God and sometimes neglect the fact that God is our Father. What does any good and righteous father do? He disciplines and teaches and sometimes even dishes out a dose of tough love. Yes, our God dishes out tough love, because He truly loves you. We see this here in verse two. Jesus says that God still prunes the branches that produce fruit. To prune is to remove the dead parts of the branch and even sometimes the live parts if it will help the branch produce more fruit.
So, how does this apply to you and me? Not all bad things that happen to you are really bad in the long run (this doesn’t mean it won’t hurt). God allows bad things to happen as a part of pruning you. We step out of our trials and tribulations closer to God, and with Him back as number one in our lives. This leads us to verse four. The branch can not produce fruit by itself. If God is not number one in your life, you are doing things on your own accord (by yourself) and are most likely due for a pruning.
For some of us, this is a hard concept to understand. Please allow me to share something from my life that may shed some light. At one point in my life, my job and providing and income had become more important than God. It wasn’t affecting my life any more than any of my neighbours around me, so I felt that I was doing the right thing. I saw no harm in my actions, in fact, I thought it was a good thing all around. Please notice the key word here…I.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”