Oakleigh Baptist Community Church Worship

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:1 – 4)

The beautiful land of Australia which God has blessed us to inhabit, is a land of extremes just as we experienced this week. As the sun was going down on Monday night, I was watering the new fruit trees at the front of the church. But after Tuesday I was doing just the opposite. The young supple fruit trees coped with the storm, but other trees didn’t fare so well, and I was soon cutting up branches to be thrown in the fire (or the green bin).

As He often does, the Lord reminded me of a spiritual truth while I was dealing with the natural. Passages came to mind about fruitfulness; the difference between what brings life and fruit that lasts for eternity, rather than what is meaningless and destined for destruction. One of those I shared above, another is this one:

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7 – 8)

What does it mean for us to be planted along a riverbank spiritually. Jesus taught us the answer when He spoke of abiding in Him – remaining in and close to Him – being fed and nurtured through a living, growing relationship with the Lord Jesus. In contrast, if we are focused on our own ways, following our own plans and desires, we are facing devastation because the next two verses in Jeremiah teach us:

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:9 – 10)

It is helpful to know that we have an opportunity to bear fruit, contributing to what lasts, and what God promises to reward. A life lived close to Jesus; loving Him, listening to him, with a motive to please Him. Opportunities will come today, to do just that. So let’s make today – and every day – a fruit-filled day.