Our theme for 2019 is Bear Fruit. It is a commonly used phrase in both the secular world and the church. It comes from a passage in John 15:1-8, in which Jesus gives us an illustration of the relational roles that belong to us believers, Jesus, and the Father. Jesus says, “I am the vine, my Father is the gardener….you are the branches.” (v. 1; v.5 NIV). His illustration creates an incredible picture of a vineyard. Have you ever visited a farm or property where everything, as far as you can see, belongs to the farmer? You look out and see fields of corn, or beans, that stretch across what seems like thousands of acres. This is what I picture in my mind. A vineyard that is never-ending, and in that vineyard there is one vine from which all things grow. One vine that connects every branch; one vine, intertwined with the foundations designed by the farmer.
In Jesus’ illustration, Jesus is the vine whose job is to grow. The Father is the gardener, his job is to prune and maintain the vineyard. We are the branches, our job is to bear fruit. Both the Farmer and the Vine will do their jobs. They will never fail. However, the branches can fail. Not every branch on the vine will bear fruit, which leaves the branches with two possible outcomes. (1) Bear fruit and be pruned back for more growth or (2) fail to bear fruit and be cut down from the vine. If we are the branches, that leaves us with two possible results for our lives. We can bear fruit and stay within the fold of God or fail to bear fruit and be separated from the presence of God for eternity. The reason our theme for 2019 is Bear Fruit, is because nothing could be of greater importance. Our goal,as believers and as a church, is to stay connected to the vine. To do that we must do one thing and one thing alone: Bear Fruit.
During this Week of Prayer, our focus is on the factors that contribute to fruit bearing. In order for a tree or plant to bear fruit, all of the conditions must be right. Anybody with a garden will tell you that. If one element is off, it could result in a barren tree. Our devotional this week will highlight a couple of key factors for a fruit-bearing life. During your prayer time this week, take an inward look at your life and determine if you are, indeed, bearing fruit. Then, follow along with us as we study the essentials of a fruitful life.