1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also 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.
Thoughts: Who wants to be cut off by God? Who wants to be pruned or shaped up by God? How do you avoid being cut off or pruned? Jesus gives the answer- it is by abiding, remaining, staying in Him. How do we abide in Him? We abide by listening (through the Word and Spirit), praying, obeying and serving, being with his people, and spreading His love. The key is to abide in Him and for Him to abide in us. We are in Christ and Christ is in us- like we are in the air, and the air is in every cell of our bodies.
Prayer: Lord, help me to abide in you. Be near to me, and help me to be near to you.
John Calvin Abridged: We are by nature barren and dry except when we are ingrafted into Christ. Can any one who is engrafted into Christ be without fruit? I answer, many are supposed to be in the vine, according to the opinion of men, who actually have no root in the vine.
Thus, in the writings of the prophets, the Lord calls the people of Israel his vine, because, by outward profession, they had the name of The Church.