Yesterday’s harvest must make room for today’s growth, and give way to tomorrow’s crop. We live to expand and stretch our branches further, and to do so is a path of letting go and taking hold.
Please note: this transcript is auto-generated so forgive any (or many) errors 😲 – click the timestamps to play that section directly in the audio.
Well, good afternoon, afternoon for me. I don’t know what it is for you, but I hope it’s a good one wherever you are and whatever you’re up to today, I’m going to continue talking about a fruitfulness very specifically. Actually, my Bible reading this morning was from John Chapter 15. And anyone who’s ever read that chapter will know it’s like it is packed with juice. Yeah. And I was just thinking, when you read through that chapter, that literally is so much in there about how to live a fruitful how to live a productive and how to live a blessed life.
And you know that that the scriptures that talk about having a full measure of complete overflowing joy and and enjoying the benefits and the satisfaction of a fruitful life lived in close communion with with Jesus and with the father. And I love and I’ve tried both of these. You know, it’s very easy sometimes to unplug from grace. It is. You know, we have a tendency, I think, as human beings to be very self-sufficient. We have a tendency to rely on our own strength.
We have a tendency sometimes to begin independent in. We begin in dependence, but we end up in independence. And and and I know which one works better. You know, I know that when I’m plugged in to Jesus, when I’m plugged into his world view, his way of thinking, his way of doing it certainly makes a great deal. It makes things a great deal less stressful and a great deal more joyful. And here in and those seasons withering the seasons of frustration that come when we try and produce because like his love is like a branch that’s been broken off.
Yeah. Lying there in the dirt, straining to produce some fruit. It is just not going to happen. It’s such a such a kind of pathetic picture that Jesus gives us here in John, Chapter 15 of what it’s like to disconnect us from his grace and then go and try and produce fruit all by our lonesome themselves. It’s really not very pretty and somewhat saddening. But what strikes me the most about this, this particular section of scripture is certainly what struck me this morning.
There’s so much in here. I’m sure you could probably camp for several years and still be kind of sucking the juice from it. But it says that there’s this strong a repeated invitation again and again. Jesus says, dwell in me, live in me, abide in me. The the amplified Bible says be vitally united to me to be vitally united. It’s not like I’ve spoken about the severed branch. It’s not like the flowers that you buy in the supermarket.
Yeah, beautiful looking stems. They really look the business. But since seven days later, give it just a few days, if you’re lucky, you might inch into week two. Really, they they tend to look rather sad and depleted. And I think that that’s that’s a bit what we’re like when we’re when we are severed from our sustenance. Yeah. And but he talks here about this raw living relationship filled with energy, with life, and with an invigorating exchange of life taking place in the same way as the divine or the branch.
The branch draws from the vine and the vine is pulling from the roots. It’s so, so, so like us in our spirit, in our spiritual life and in our creative lives, that we need to be plugged into a source that provides us. With an endless and ongoing supply of inspiration and inspiration literally means the end breathing of God, and we need that kind of inspiration. We need that kind of strength and energy to keep us motivated when we are going through the pains of growth, when we’re going through the that the change of, you know, just as we grow and change and develop and stretch further and put our branches out further, the scriptures tell us as we do that as we bear fruit, the father, who is the vine dress, will come in and lop a bunch of kind of that fruit and those leaves that are nose sprouting branches off to keep us lean and make room for further growth and to keep the growth healthy and to keep the growth clean.
I mean, literally for a lot of people, you know, without without our father coming to really work with us, without our father coming to tend and to cultivate our lives, we can end up just with a bunch of dead wood. We can end up with a lot of kind of withered branches and a a vine dresser I just looked at look this up and it talks about. How the divine dress will come in every day to remove dead wood in a comes into to tend to the vines every single day and Al in doing so, he gets rid of diseased and stunted fruits in order to make room for new growth.
And, you know, I think that often withered fruit can fill the fill the coffers of our overcrowded lives. It might be dreams that died a long time ago or like the remnants of disappointment, that hangover from parched seasons where for whatever reason, we were uncoupled from like that sense of grace and drawing from that supernatural grace that that Jesus offers us. And we can carry those from season to season. But if we allow God in, if we allow the Holy Spirit to come in, he can strip those things away so new life can come forth in, as scripture tells us.
That he cleanses and repeatedly prunes every fruitful branch, John, 15 verse to this isn’t this isn’t just something for that that happens once. It’s if only it were if only the pruning happened once. And then we study stood in all of our wonderful perfection for the world to bow to. That’s just quite honestly, not the case. I, I just it makes me laugh because I think of, you know, how often we try and display ourselves in a certain way to the world when really we know what kind of this bedraggled branch that the father so desperately needs to come on a daily basis to try and clean up and try and make it presentable.
But the scriptures say here in John Chapter 15, it says, you are my friends. And this is what I mean, that this is an ongoing thing. This is something that we need to connect to every day. I write in my blog today that yesterday’s harvest must make room for today’s growth and give way to tomorrow’s crop. We live to expand and stretch our branches further, and to do so is always the path of letting go and taking hold, letting go of the old taking hold of what the father is saying today.
Jesus said, you are my friends. If you keep on doing the things that I command you to do, you are my friends. If you keep on doing, it’s something that we do and we keep on doing as we walk with him. We keep on doing what he tells us. And you know what he told us two years ago, a year ago, a week ago, three minutes ago may not be exactly what he’s saying right now.
You know, this is a dynamic walk of relationship. It’s not just like, OK, I’ve got that one in place. I can just that’s that’s done now. That’s finished with. And I can just go on. We need to be coming back every single day and allowing the richness and the depth of our relationship with the source to be developing all the time. I love these words in and again, this John Chapter 15, if you live in me and abide vitally united to me and my words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you.
What a beautiful verse and the implications of such a broad and such an open promise. A very clear and it’s one of those verses that you could kind of just dig into for and draw so much from. But what it what it spoke to me this morning as I was reading, it wasn’t so much kind of the outright promise ask and it will be given, but more the the the attitude of asking was what really struck me, that, you know, it implies a great confidence.
It implies that, you know, if I stay close to him and let him speak, it’s going to result in a confidence that I couldn’t otherwise muster. It’s not something that I could work up. But that closeness allows me to step into the father’s presence and indicates a familiarity in the right sense of the word, not a familiarity where we’ve grown so used to something that we no longer really treasure it or value it, but a familiarity of relationship that is just so strong and so enjoyable.
There’s not there’s no cowering. It’s like this fearless boldness of hard assured that God will hear us when we come into his presence. And then in verse eleven, it goes on to say what the result of this beautiful relationship that we’ve been invited into will be. It says, Your joy and your gladness will be of full measure, complete and overflowing. And, you know, I would contend that fruitfulness is normal and natural. When the branch is attached to the vine, it would be it’s an expected outcome that when the branch is rightly, rightly connected, when the branch is rightly aligned and in right relationship with the vine, one would expect there to be fruit as a result of it.
And and I believe the same is true for us when we are rightly aligned to our purpose in God are calling our creative, calling in him. And when we are allowing but that that dynamic of exchange to take place where we are in him, he is in us. We we are pressing into his presence and his words are alive in our hard fruit is the natural or in this case supernatural result and blessing and joy are your portion. And so I encourage you whatever and whatever productive avenues you plan to take to always remember that, you know, elsewhere in this book, in this incredible chapter of scripture, we’re told that without me you can do nothing.
Jesus said, look, if you’re not connected, you’re like that withered branch on the sidewalk all dried up and kind of pining away. And the likelihood is someone’s going to pick you up and throw you in the fire. It’s going to it’s it’s of no it’s of no use. And we don’t want to be like that. We want to be a people filled with the vital life and nature of the one that we serve. And so I encourage you today, this is like my this is the kind of trumpet and the banner that I carry.
I encourage you today to just swing back around to that amazing truth. Jesus, first, everything else follows. Well, thanks for listening. Hopefully it’s been an encouragement to you today. If you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com. Have a great day.