(The book of John takes us through many deep discussions that Jesus gave at various times in His ministry. Please click herefor Study #1 — Jesus and Nicodemus; Study #2 — The Woman at the Well; Study #3 — At the Pool of Bethesda; and Study #4 — Bread of Life; and Study #5 — The Shepherd and His Flock. The next 7 devotionals are from John chapter 15, and they focus on the lessons we can learn from Jesus’ famous discourse, “The Vine and the Branches.” )
By this time tomorrow, I will have a purely ornamental water spigot. It will exit from one of the posts that grace my deck, and its primary function will be to serve as a hook for a plant.
Up until last fall, this spigot served an important role in the lives of the plants that lived on my deck. It provided them with the water they needed to survive. And during an unusually hot summer, where the temperatures soared to 50 degrees C (approx. 120 F), that water spigot was the difference between life and death for those plants.
But something happened. During the winter, this spigot’s negligent home owners forgot to turn off the water supply, and during an early freeze, the pipe leading to this poor spigot froze and cracked. Now any water that flows through the pipe will spew out onto the lawn instead of flowing to the spigot.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time these particular home owners have been negligent in this manner. Each time in the past, however, it has been possible to repair the pipe. Not this time. The break is in a spot that would require disassembling the entire deck to repair it. There is nothing to do but to permanently cut this spigot off from its water supply, reroute the pipes, and install a new spigot in a different spot. Without its water supply, the spigot has gone from serving a vital function to being nothing but a deck ornament, good only for holding up a hanging basket of flowers.
My husband has his own ideas as to what should happen to this poor old spigot, cut off from its water supply, completely unable to bear any type of water in the future. He thinks it should be removed, and I can’t say that I disagree. After all, two water spigots in such close proximity to one another will look awfully strange, and where they are situated on the deck is truly not an ideal spot for a hanging pot of flowers. It is sad, but what good is an old water spigot when it is cut off from the water supply?
This all reminds me of an important discourse that Jesus made during His last address to His disciples.
What? You don’t remember seeing the word “spigot” amongst Jesus’ words?
You’re right if you don’t, for the word water “spigot” is, indeed, not mentioned in the Bible. But Jesus does spend some time talking about the importance of being connected to the source. In His example, the water spigot is a “branch,” and the water supply is the “vine:” “I am the vine, you are the branches…” (John 15:5, NKJV)
We, as Christians, are the “branches,” and if we do not bear fruit, we are like the water spigot on my deck. We are purely ornamental, of absolutely no use to God, and if anything, a hindrance to His work.
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do to my Lord and Savior, who has done so much for me, is to stand in His way, to be a hindrance to Him! I want to “bear fruit!” I want to be an instrumental vessel in His hands! Amen?
Just in case a desire to be an instrumental vessel isn’t enough to make us want to bear fruit, then let’s keep in mind what Jesus teaches will happen to any branch that does not bear fruit: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away…” (John 15:2a, NKJV)
You see, Jesus understands that a water spigot (“… you are the branches…” John 15:5b, NKJV) that does not bear water (“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit …” John 15:2a, NKJV) should be taken away from the water system (ie: “…He takes away…” John 15:2b, NKJV). For of what practical use is something that is only ornamental?
This vitally important discourse will be the subject of this last study from the book of John. If you desire to be a branch that bears fruit, if you wish to be an instrumental vessel in God’s hands, then I invite you to join us on Saturdays for the next 6 weeks, to learn the important Nuggets of Truth that can be “mined” from Jesus’ discourse on The Vine and the Branches.
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.
(To access the rest of this mini-series, please click here.)