Day 16 // "Fruitful"

Read: John 15:1 - 16:4


This passage has caused me to really think about how the Bible, the world, and I define the word “fruitful”.

I am looking at my life wondering if it is “fruitful.” I am a stay at home Mom with a small part-time job at my church. I had a ten-year season where I led a ministry, and it seemed like I was doing something “fruitful”. I have worked in my church full time, and that felt “fruitful” and important. For about the last three years, I have been home a lot trying just to be here when one or more of my teenagers arrived at the house. I spent 18 years raising my children and that felt “fruitful”. I have one child in college and another that can drive so I don’t feel as “fruitful” in the area of being a Mom as I used to.

BUT maybe “fruitful” isn’t about a feeling at all. Maybe “fruit” is born when I stay close to the vine, Jesus, and try to do exactly what He wants me to do. Maybe there are seasons in life that are quieter than others. Maybe some seasons are just about someone else. Maybe the vinedresser is pruning me, or maybe He has brought in some string to tie me back up near the vine. Maybe the “fruit” will come at another time.

The picture of the vine and the vinedresser was common in Jesus’ day. People were used to seeing the vinedresser carrying string and pruning sheers. The string was to tie branches back to the vine that had fallen onto the ground. The pruning sheers were to cut off dead branches that might be taking life from good branches. The goal was a vine whose life-giving sap was running through all the branches to bear good fruit.

If we asked Jesus what it means to be “fruitful”, He might say, 

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
— John 15:10-12

Fruitfulness comes from obedience to love like Jesus loved. It’s just so hard sometimes to know what that means for each one of us.

When you gave up a job to be more available to your aging Mom maybe that was it. When you kept driving that beater car, so your kid can have a car maybe that was it. When you kept helping that person at work who doesn’t seem to help themselves maybe that was it. When you continued to serve in that ministry that drains you and rarely says thank you maybe that was it. When you jumped in the car to help your daughter-in-law maybe that was it. When you chose to forgive someone who hurt you dearly and then later chose to help them maybe that was it.

Maybe just maybe, all my confusion comes from interchanging the worldly idea of being important for God’s idea of being “fruitful.” In His kingdom, He challenges us to die to ourselves to find our true lives. He doesn’t encourage us to “be important”.

If we love Jesus, then we will obey Jesus. Then Jesus’ life-giving sap will flow to us, and He will bear fruit in our lives in His time and His way. Are you abiding, remaining, resting in the vine? 


NEXT STEPS:

In your Going Deeper Participant Guide, let’s look at Day 16 beginning on page 35. Complete Look at the Details and Personal Application sections. Then come back here and share your answer to the following discussion question in the comment section below. (You can find the comment section at the bottom of this message. Just scroll down and you’ll see the words “Post a Comment.” Click there and share your responses.) Or, join the conversation on our Facebook Community Group.

"Discuss what it would mean for your life to be fruitful? What do you see as fruit? What are some things you would like to see as fruit in your life? Is there a process for this type of transformation? What role do you play? What role does God play?"

I will be posting my responses in the comment section too, so I hope to see you there!

Thanks for going on this journey together! #undividedwomen