Good Fruit

[Jesus said,] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer. Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you. In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples.” John 15:1-8 (WEB)

Branches do not produce fruit.  They just ‘show’ the fruit that the vine produces.  My fruitfulness depends on my remaining intimately connected to Jesus, the vine. How much of His fruit is about accepting the nutrients that He provides in our relationship, as well as the pruning that I allow Him to do in our relationship so that he can ride me of the dead wood and showy leaves that hide the good fruit.

Galatians 5 tells me some of the fruit that is produced in me when I grow in Christ:
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-Control

As I went to sleep last night, I was thinking about the ‘fruit’ in my life.  Since I don’t consider myself as stagnant, I am growing fruit in my life.  But I’m not sure that all of it is listed above.  I think I need pruning!  When I look at my branch, I see some bad fruit that I don’t like and that I don’t want to grow.  In fact, I want it to shrivel up and die! It’s that ‘natural’ carnal stuff like: anger, bitterness, disobedience, rebellion, envy, manipulation, — YUK!!! Have you ever gone to pick tomatoes or grapes and you’re just humming along and all of a sudden your hand touches or grabs this squishy, yukky piece of fruit that has some furry white stuff on it? You snatch your hand back and hope it falls to the ground where it will naturally decompose or you carefully pick it up by a tiny good spot and heave it into the trash! That is bad fruit! The carnal fruit in my life is bad next to Jesus-producing fruit!
Jesus-produced fruit is ripe and shiny, inviting others to “taste and see that the Lord is good”(Psalm 34:8).  I want to produce good fruit so that others want to be in Jesus’ garden/vineyard.

Holy Spirit, bring out the pruning shears!  I submit!

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