READ : John 15:1-17
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. (v. 4 NIV)
Garden imagery is a favorite of God’s . . . from the creation story Garden of Eden to the well-watered garden of the prophets to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays. In John 15, Jesus reminds his disciples of the Father as gardener of their hearts.
He teaches the disciples that every branch of his that bears no fruit, the Father will cut off; while every branch that does bear fruit, the Father will trim clean so it will become even more fruitful! The main idea is simply this: no lonely, cutoff branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.
What is the fruit that the Father desires of his children? Jesus tells us that it begins with obeying his commands and it’s evidenced by remaining true to his wish, “Love each other as I have loved you” (15:12 NIV).
The fruit of love begins to grow with daily prayer and reflection on the Word of God. It flourishes in our relationships with our family, friends, neighbors, and work associates. It bursts into full bloom when we’re confronted with a difficult person and we reflect Jesus’ heart and mind.
But it can all quickly wither when we fail to abide in Christ.
Lord, help me to abide in you, and to love all others in your name.