This summer, we're walking through the life story of Jesus in the Gospel of John. While the other three New Testament gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) overlap each other in many of their accounts and sayings of Jesus, John presents a lot of material unique to his gospel. Watch for Jesus' seven "I am" statements and other important speeches about the identity of who exactly Jesus is.
Read John 15:1-8
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
Create a picture in your mind with the words Jesus speaks here: God is the gardener, Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches that have potential for bearing fruit. What's the difference between branches that are carefully pruned and those that have been lopped off? What is absolutely essential for a harvest of good grapes?
God, I want my life to bear good fruit. Help me to stay connected to the vine so that my branch can flourish.