God says to you and me, “You can be fruitful, but I’m going to have to clip some diseased leaves.”  Arrogance.  Vain ambitions.  Bad relationships. Dangerous opportunities.  Revenge.  Does God take this process lightly?  I don’t think so.  John 15:2 says, “He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit.”

So what are we to do?  We branches on the vine– what is our response?  An answer commonly given at this point is the imperative, “Bear fruit!”  But is that the right response?  If a branch is fruitless does it help if the gardener demands fruit?  Please note, the branch cannot make fruit.  Jesus says, “remain in me. . .”   Remain in my love. . .  If any remain in me and I remain in them, they produce fruit.  Our task?  It’s clear.  Stay close to the vine.  Jesus said, “apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Read more A Gentle Thunder