“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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. (John 15:4-5)
Christ desires His followers to bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. According to Jesus, the more fruit we bear, the more glory His Father receives.
In order for us to bear more fruit, at least two important things must happen.
1) We Must Be Well Established in the Vine
“Abide in Me” Jesus said. The word ‘abide’ means to linger or tarry. It means to spend considerable amount of time somewhere. “Abide in Me” Jesus said. In other words, sit down and stay a while. Perhaps the number one reason we often lack the strength we need in our spiritual walk is because we do not spend enough time with our Savior.
2) There Must Be a Pruning Away of Useless Foliage
John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
According to Jesus, a necessary part of bearing fruit is the pruning away of useless foliage. Whenever I read this, I think back to when my dad used to prune our grapevine each spring. Long before the sap began to rise and the leaves began to appear, dad would take his shears and carefully trim away much of last year’s growth. Sometimes it looked like he was going to trim the whole vine away, yet he knew what needed to remain and what needed to be removed. Dad cut away the branches that he knew would only produce leaves so that what remained could produce fruit.
So it is with us and our heavenly Father. Jesus said that there are certain things in our lives that need to be pruned away. There are some things, that although they are not sinful, they are not beneficial. They make a drain upon our time and energy so that we have little to invest in the kingdom of God. Therefore, in order for us to bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit, our Master must prune them away.
Jesus did not tell us to concentrate on bearing fruit, but to concentrate on abiding in Him. Make your relationship with Christ your number one priority and the fruit will come.