Jason wanted to make sure that I posted pictures of some of our peaches this year in his own defense of taking the chainsaw to the peach tree a few years back. (See http://noahsteven.blogspot.com/2007/06/one-day-four-years-ago-i-was-sitting-in.html)
1″I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.
3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9″As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14You are my friends if you do what I command.
15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
17This is my command: Love each other.
It’s so clear why I hate fruit flies! We should all hate fruit flies! When we are stinky fruit, rotting on the tree, we are magnets for fruit flies. We fall to the ground or are cut off and thrown in the garbage. I know in order to eat fruit we have to pick it from the vine or tree, but if it isn’t serving its purpose, it’s game for attack. I’ve been a Christian for 20 years now, but I can say that often times in my walk, even in my pursuit of God, I was just a full, ripened piece of fruit sitting on the counter, not nourishing or filling a need or purpose. I don’t ever want to be a beautiful piece of fruit that came from the Amazing Source just sitting on the counter again! Yes, there are times where we have to wait on God for His bigger picture, but that’s where the freezer comes in handy, especially if it’s a timing issue. The fridge is good for fruit, too, if we are waiting only a short time. But, leave that fruit in the fridge too long, and you all have seen it…it’s not pretty. Same with freezer burn. If we listen to His timing, we won’t be wasted fruit. Notice verse 2 says that every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so it will bear even more fruit. If we are being pruned, we should be grateful as that means we are fruitful. Imagine how much more!