I am delighted to have Staci Stallings as a guest blogger today! She has written an excellent post about a new way to look at John 15:1-2. Enjoy!
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. –John 15: 1-2
Every so often a misinterpretation corrected sends shock waves through my life. Thus it was with this Bible verse. I had always defined “bear” as meaning to produce. In other words, “Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit, He takes away…” Then I began reading about how God doesn’t expect us to do things for Him, no, He wants to do things through us if we allow Christ and the Holy Spirit to take over our lives to such a degree that it is them doing the doing and not us.
Okay, but there was still this verse. Clearly it says if I am in Him, I will produce fruit. Right? Well, maybe.
I give you this new insight to ponder, not so that you can accept it outright, but so that you can try it on in your life and see if it fits.
There is a second definition of “bear” I had never considered. It is actually the first definition of the word. Bear means to carry or to hold.
Does that make any difference in how you read this verse? “Every branch in Me that does not hold fruit, He takes away…” To me, holding is much different than producing. Holding is passive. Someone else has done all the hard work to produce it, all I have to do is be strong enough in Christ to hold the fruit He’s producing in my life!
You know, looking back, I wonder how much fruit I didn’t “hold” because I was so busy trying to “produce” fruit on my own. I wasn’t focused on what God was doing in my life, I was focused on what I was doing for Him. Trust me on this, the difference between the two in theory and in practice are huge!
The funny thing is, since I’ve stopped trying to produce fruit for Him, fruit in abundance has come into my life. In my books, in my kids, in my marriage, in our finances. Things I used to work so hard to accomplish (which never seemed to work out) are suddenly heaped upon me in blessing after blessing. I am convinced it’s because I stopped trying to produce and started being content to hold that this change has come about.
So, as I said before, consider this simple yet profound modification in the way you define “bear.” It may well change your entire life!
A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. (Pick up the Price of Silence now for only $0.99! http://www.amazon.com/The-Price-of-Silence-ebook/dp/B004E9U7P6) Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:
Books In Print, Kindle, & FREE on Spirit Light Works:
Spirit Light Books–The Blog: http://spiritlightbooks.wordpress.com/
And… Staci’s website http://www.stacistallings.com Come on over for a visit…
You’ll feel better for the experience!
Copyright Staci Stallings 2006