When you are confused or forget your role, you begin to try to do things that you don’t need or to or are not your responsibility. It is important to know your role, to know what you are to be doing. The same is true for the branches.
As we have looked at John 15, we have seen that Jesus is the true vine and what that means for us. You can read that here.
We see the Father as the vinedresser tenderly caring for the branch.
Let’s look at the branch. What is the role of the branches? We are the branches so what does John 15 say about the branches?
The branches are to bear fruit. The source of life comes from the vine but the fruit is on the branches. If the branch is not bearing fruit, he takes it away and the branches that are bearing fruit, the vinedresser prunes.
The branches are to bear fruit but the branch cannot bear fruit by itself. Branches not connected to the tree or the vine will not bear fruit, they are dead branches. As we think about bearing fruit we need to remember that we need to stay connected with the vine.
We are the branches, we need to bear the fruit. We need to stay connected to the vine. That fits with walking in the Spirit as we see in Galatians 5:16.
We bring glory to God when we bear fruit. The fruit that we are bearing is not what we can do on our own but rather comes from the Holy Spirit working within and so that will bring glory to God.
Our fruit shows that we are followers of God. The fruit that we bear should be pointing to Christ not to bring us glory or to make a good name for ourselves. Because of Christ our actions should be different than those around us. If we are asked why we do something, we should point to Jesus.
How do we be the branches that are bearing fruit?
- Stay connected with the true vine. That can be done through reading the Bible, meditating on the Bible, and prayer.
- Be active in loving, being joyful, bringing peace, practicing patience, living with kindness, spreading goodness, living with faithfulness, acting with gentleness, and being self-controlled. Think about how can I be those listed above to those around you. Look for opportunities to live out the fruit of the Spirit.
- Walk in the Spirit – make it a practice of praying and asking God to guide you to those who need encouragement. Be still to listen to the Spirit.
One of the things that can help you is each month as we are working through the year we are looking specifically at a fruit of the Spirit. Go through some of those posts and ponder how you are demonstrating that, think of what are the challenges that are holding you back. Dig deep into your own life looking at the hinderances to growth. Pray and ask God to help you as you examine and look at your heart.
As a branch, are you connected to the vine? Are you active in pursuing fruit in your life? Are you listening to the Holy Spirit?