“I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain joined to me, and I to you, you will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me…When you bear a lot of fruit, it brings glory to my Father. It shows that you are my disciples.”
John 15:5-8, NIRV
Recently, I have been on a kick of watching people renovate homes and cabins on YouTube. Not million-dollar mansions, but small little cozy spaces. What I love about these videos, is there is often a space that looks completely jacked up, and over time, you see it become something amazing. Hannah Lee Duggan’s video (shouts out to it), really made me jealous and got me thinking about life. With the start of September, my brain is already tuned into the fall. The autumn season is all about harvest, reaping what has been sown over the course of the spring and summer. Mix that idea with what I’ve been reading through in Scripture, and it has left me with one key concept:
Make good fruit.
The scripture I referenced above has two elements that make it stand out, the first is that when we are connected to Christ, we bear fruit. The second element is that when we bear fruit, it is an outward example of that faith in Christ. When I watch those videos, I think about the effort and time put into the home in order for the end result to be something incredible. In our faith journey, we have to have that same drive to be connected to Christ. You don’t have to be a perfect person, you just have to try. There needs to be a mindset of hunger, a hunger for more of God because that is where true life is found.
Stay connected to the vine, watch your life grow.
I’m not an ace gardener or farmer, but it’s easy to understand that a fruit not connected to a root source will die. Sure, it may look fine for a little bit, but give it time and it will rot away. For us as believers, you can make it by, but you will not grow unless you stay connected to the vine every day. Surviving is different than thriving, you can’t just be fed on a Sunday, you have to be committed to growing in faith daily. I promise you, when you stay connected to the vine daily, you will begin to watch yourself grow and change into the person God has created you to be.
Be known by actions that build others up.
Christians in America have not been great at bearing fruit. That’s the truth, and it hurts. It’s not just me judging either, I know I can do a way better job of giving love away freely and showing grace to the people I encounter. That verse says that when we bear fruit, it brings joy to God because it is a representation to everyone that you follow Him. Make your life a picture of Jesus, love others unconditionally, be quick to have grace, and if you disagree with someone, shut up and remember that they have been made by God, just like you. No one is perfect except God, so have an overflow of grace that comes from your connection to the vine.
The thought of this week’s blog is simple, make good fruit. That’s it, and you do it by everyday deciding to follow God and let Him show you something new. I used to think my quiet times each day were supposed to be groundbreaking, but more often, it’s a reminder of how God loves me and how I should love others. I’m not perfect and I’ve made my share of mistakes, but each day I am choosing to connect myself to the vine so that I can bear fruit. Just like those home renovations, it doesn’t happen in an instant, it happens over consistency and time investing in something that matters. Make good fruit, let that be your mindset in this latter half of the year, during harvest season, each day wake up and decide to make good fruit.
Make good fruit.
I will see you next week, dear readers.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__