"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered: and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit: so shall ye be my disciples."
Wow!! I saw this picture on the internet today, and the verse really hit me. Reminded me how important it is to stay close to God, our vine. Are we nourishing ourselves each day so that we are able to produce beautiful blossoms and abundant fruit? How important to nurture, feed, and water our earthly plants, then how much more important for us to do the same to ourselves, not only in the physical sense, but the spiritual as well.
Do I want to wither and die, be cast off, be scooped up by men and thrown into a fire? How do I prevent this? Nurturing, having a right relationship, going forth and bearing much fruit. That's what the verse says, MUCH fruit. How sad it is when we see those that have withered and died, been cut from the tree. I see how quickly a branch dies when it is cut. It cannot sustain life apart from the vine.
Sometimes the process isn't an easy one. God often works on me, and in the process I am pruned. I must be pruned in order to bring forth abundant, healthy fruit. Pruning is hard! Those clippers can hurt, but it's the only way that we can promote growth. Healthy growth. Cutting back the branches.
I pray that I can continue to grow. That I can stay out of that drought, that I can keep away from the things that may infect me, that will cause unhealthy fruit or cause me to be unfruitful altogether. That is my prayer, Lord, to stay connected to that source of Life.