Is your life making a difference? Are people brought closer to God as a result of spending time with you? (And I don’t mean, do they have to run to God for help because you’re causing them problems!) If you’re connected to Jesus, like a branch of the vine in the Gospel reading (John 15:1-8), then the answer is yes, you are making a difference, you are evangelizing the world around you.
Are people attracted to you? Do they want to be near you because of the love you share? When others go through difficulties, do they come to you for prayers, wisdom, compassionate understanding, or some other attribute of Christ? If yes, then you are bearing his fruit on the vine.
We’re all in need of some pruning so that our vines become more deeply grafted into Jesus and we produce better fruits. Sometimes we scrape others with dead branches that are leafless and hard and broken. Being pruned of these ugly, diseased and poisonous twigs is painful, but it’s good that the Father cares enough to trim them away. Pruning enables growth, and thus we become stronger and more beautiful.
In the reading (Acts 15:1-6), we have an example of well-intentioned Christians who scraped others with old branches. As Pharisees, they legalistically clung to old Jewish ways by insisting that Gentile converts subscribe to all Mosaic laws. But in the verses that follow, we see that God was able to prune them because they had grafted themselves into Jesus. They listened to Paul and Barnabas and allowed the Holy Spirit to change their minds.
Jesus wants to bring peace to others through you. To bear his good fruits, let God prune away everything that does not come from Jesus:Read More »