I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.
God wants all of us to be a productive branch producing fruit. It’s easy to get discouraged when you see a prodigal turning their back on the things of God, rendering them fruitless in the spiritual sense.
In the book “Secrets of the Vine,” Bruce Wilkinson talks about his conversation with the owner of a vineyard. This explanation gave me such hope when my prodigal was pretty far away from God –
“New branches have a natural tendency to trail down and grow along the ground… But they don’t bear fruit down there. When branches grow along the ground, the leaves get coated in dust. When it rains, they get muddy and mildewed. The branch becomes sick and useless.” “What do you do? I asked. “Cut it off and throw it away?” “Oh, no!” he exclaimed. “The branch is much too valuable for that. We go through the vineyard with a bucket of water looking for those branches. We lift them up and wash them off…then we wrap them around the trellis or tie them up. Pretty soon they’re thriving.”
When I read these words, I had a beautiful picture of God gently reaching down and lifting up my prodigal, washing him off and anchoring him in a place where he could be productive, because he was of value. And, over time, God did just that! May you have the same assurance today as you put your prodigal’s name into this verse. That He is in control, lifting, washing, securing, pruning…all for His glory.
I am the vine; ________ is the branch. If _________ remains in me and I in him/her, he/she will bear much fruit; apart from Me _________ can do nothing.