“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.” John 15:5NIV
My grandparents had seven grandchildren and would often entertain all seven of us for days at a time when the “Texas” cousins came to Alabama for a visit. One method of entertainment was to load us all up in the back of Pa-Pa’s truck and head for the woods to pick wild plums, huckleberries, blackberries, or muscadines. My grandmother would then make jelly. It was delicious on the biscuits she made almost every morning. I can almost taste them now, hot, fluffy biscuits, split in two, with butter melting in a little pool on each piece. Then, the best part of all, a shiny, beautifully colored dollop of homemade jelly nestled right on top. It was a sight worthy of a magazine photo shoot. It did not matter if the jelly was the rich pinky red of plum, the almost blackish purple of blackberry, or the red violet of muscadine, it was all scrumptious and made with love. Much fruit is needed to make a batch of sweet jelly as well as a lot of work, but the result is worth the effort.
Jesus said if we remain in Him and He in us, we will bear much fruit. What kind of fruit? The fruit of a transformed character, making us more like Him. The fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Also, the fruit of evangelism as we share Jesus with others. To bear this fruit we must stay connected to Jesus.
We can learn a lot from the grapevine—not the human chain that passes the “news” from person to person—but a literal grapevine.
Let’s learn the lessons of the grapevine and get out and “bear much fruit”.
Father, thank you for the lessons you show us
in nature. May we seek Jesus, the Light we
need to produce fruit for your kingdom. Thank you
for pruning us when necessary because,
while sometimes painful, the result is more and
better fruit. Thank you for that terrible, beautiful
cross on which Jesus died, making a way for me
to come to You. Lord help me to hear your Word and
understand it that I might yield much
more fruit. And Lord when the thorns of
worry and temptation try to choke the Word in my life,
help me to stand strong and dig out those weeds.
Thank you, Lord, for being the Living Water that has become
a spring welling up in me.
May it overflow to others today and every day.
Susan Sims Meyer
Thoughts and paintings from my personal quiet time and Bible study