We are made to grow and to become more and more like Jesus. God made us with a purpose, and the things that God does in our lives will prepare us for better days and give us the ability to make a bigger difference for His kingdom and His good.
It is John 15 that describes that process in a good way. Read on:
I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
God prunes us so we can bear more fruit. The process of being pruned isn’t easy and sometimes hurts. What God does in our lives is always to bring us closer to Him and to make us more like Jesus. Pruning is an important part of the process, and it is important to understand that pruning and punishment are not the same thing. Pruning comes when we are seeking and serving God. Punishment comes when we are moving away from or being disobedient to God.
One vital part of growing is staying close to the Father. The safest place is being close to the Father. To know the Father and the son we have to spend time with them. Intimacy comes when we spend time with someone, and time with God radically changes our lives.
It is impossible to bear fruit when we are not connected to the Father. Literally we cannot do anything away from the Father. Far too many Christians think that going to church on Sunday alone or a few times a month is enough to keep the blessings going or to keep God happy. That is not the truth. Staying connected to God isn’t easy, but it will bring us peace and clarify our purpose!
Much fruit comes to the person who stays connected and loves to be connected to God. How you define much fruit is a big deal. Being connected to the Father brings fruit, and not every person will produce the same amount of fruit. But we will produce fruit. Fruit proves that we are connected to and following God.
Fruit gives God all the glory. That is the point. Our fruit points people to God and allows us, and those around us, to see God clearly. Bearing fruit reminds us that life is really all about God. God made us and has a purpose for our lives. Stay connected to Him and give Him glory. Stay connected to God and bear more fruit. Stay connected to God and watch how God works the small and the big things work in incredible ways that all point to Him.
God is preparing us for more by working in our lives. And I want more of that. How about you?