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Posted by James Keller on 03/26/17 @ 10:31 PM

John 15:1-2 (GW)
1  {Then Jesus said,} “I am the true vine, and my Father takes care of the vineyard. 2  He removes every one of my branches that doesn't produce fruit. He also prunes every branch that does produce fruit to make it produce more fruit.

As painful as pruning sounds (and is), Jesus warns us against something far scarier.   He removes every one of my branches that doesn't produce fruit.  Have you ever thought about this?  A follower of Jesus is supposed to produce fruit.  What happens when you don’t produce fruit?  You are removed. 

Jesus spoke about this a few different places.  Luke 13:6-9 (GW) 6  Then Jesus used this illustration: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on the tree but didn't find any. 7  He said to the gardener, ‘For the last three years I've come to look for figs on this fig tree but haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up {good} soil?' 8  “The gardener replied, ‘Sir, let it stand for one more year. I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9  Maybe next year it'll have figs. But if not, then cut it down.'”

Here Jesus tells us that God provides everything we need to produce fruit.  The problem is when we don’t produce fruit.  God is merciful and slow to act, but eventually He will act.  He will remove those who don’t produce fruit.

Matthew 21:18-19 (GW)
18   In the morning, as Jesus returned to the city, he became hungry. 19  When he saw a fig tree by the road, he went up to the tree and found nothing on it but leaves. He said to the tree, “May fruit never grow on you again!” At once the fig tree dried up.

Why curse the fig tree?  To teach us a lesson about producing fruit.  What is the purpose of a fig tree?  To produce figs.  A fig tree that doesn’t produce figs is not worth anything.  So too, a follower of Jesus is to produce fruit.  Not producing fruit is not an option.  Not producing fruit means you will be removed from the garden; you will be removed from the vine.  What happens to dead wood?  It is burned up.  What happens to so-called followers of Jesus who don’t produce fruit?  They are removed from the garden and thrown into the fire. 

This is a scary thing.  Nobody wants to be removed from God’s garden, His kingdom.  Nobody wants to be thrown into the fire, hell.  Yet it can and does happen.  That is why the apostle Peter encourages us. 2 Peter 1:10 (GW) 10  Therefore, brothers and sisters, use more effort to make God's calling and choosing of you secure. If you keep doing this, you will never fall away. We are to make sure God’s calling on our lives is sure.  How?  By producing fruit.

So, the big question for today is: What are you doing to produce fruit?  Not sure what fruit you are to produce?  Read Galatians 5:22-26 and Matthew 28:18-20.

Christ’s slave,

Pastor jim

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