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Fruit of the Vine

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” – John 15:8

There is a description of God’s people in Hosea 10:1 that is truly tragic. The Lord said, “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself” (KJV). The word empty in the original Hebrew means “luxuriant, spread out, full of leaves,” but void of fruit to the glory of God. Instead it is filled with that which glorifies and pleases self. What a picture! Here are a people who claim a relationship with God, but the entire focus of their lives is on themselves.

The tragedy revealed in today’s passage is that God expected His people to bear fruit to His glory. Instead, they lived completely for themselves. In Romans 14:7-8, Paul presents the attitude we should have: “For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

You and I are not at our own disposal. Dead or alive, we are God’s. Our first concern should be His will, on earth as it is in heaven. And one way you and I bring glory to Him is by bearing fruit. By bearing fruit, I mean reproducing after our own kind, producing other Christians. As a result of our lives and witness, people should be coming to Christ. That is the fruitfulness that glorifies God.

Christian, beware a life that appears luxuriant, pleasing to the eye of men, but displeasing to God.

Prayer

Lord, I want to bear fruit to sustain others. Prune me with Your love and care. Amen.

To Ponder

No one plants a vineyard for ornamental reasons; the only purpose of a vine is to bear fruit.

(The Navigators)