(Jesus said) “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 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. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.” (John 15:1-8 ESV)
We have a grapevine in the backyard. It grows over an arbor, and the grapes hang down through the lattice. The highest grapes are eight feet off the ground, far from the water and fertilizer at the roots. But they grow and ripen anyway. The sap of the vine runs through all the branches, and they have everything they need.
What would happen if I went out there with my snippers and cut a branch off? Would those grapes grow? Of course not. The branch isn’t connected to the vine anymore. It gets no sap, and it dries out. There will be no grapes. It is good for nothing.
Jesus is our vine, and we are His branches. His sap runs in us, and gives us His life. As long as we stay in His vine, we are alive and well. His sap produces wonderful fruit in us—actions, words, attitudes that show God’s love and kindness to others, things we could never produce on our own. Who would want to be apart from Him? That leads only to the compost heap.
We often travel in California, and I have a vivid memory of one vineyard we drove by. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of vines altogether, though it was winter, and so there was very little to see. But you could see the shape of the supports they grew on. The shape was a cross. And that is the shape of the support we grow on—Jesus’ cross, where He laid down His life to give us life and forgiveness. Now our lives reflect that shape—loving and honoring our Lord who died and rose again for us.
Prayer: Lord, send Your life through me, Your branch, and make me fruitful for You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. Do you grow plants? How do you care for them?
2. Name some specific ways Jesus uses to give you His life.
3. Have you ever had to do something very difficult, and asked the Lord to do it through you? Tell the story.