Front Porch Bible Study Series / The Fruit of the Spirit
This month we are focusing on LOVE, the first fruit of the Spirit. In Weeks 5 and 6, we studied how we show God’s love to others through intercessory prayer and Christian service. This week we’ll look at how God’s love grows inside our spirits and produces fruit for God’s kingdom. Join me as we study how to abide in the vine.
Week 7: LOVE
Click to Read: John 15: 1-8 NKJV.
Click to Read: Memory Verse: “‘By
Jesus explains what living the true Christian life is like by comparing it to a vinedresser (God) who cares for the branches (those saved by grace), which are attached to the true vine (Jesus).
God prunes every branch by either cutting away those that don’t produce any fruit or by pruning a fruitful branch to make it more productive.
Either way, we’re all going to feel some pain on occasion when God comes to inspect us!
Jesus then defines the consequences of rejecting Christ: “‘If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned’” (John 15:6 NKJV).
On the other hand, Jesus promises to those who accept Him: “‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples'” (John 15:7-8 NKJV).
Are you a gardener? If so, you’ll best understand the principle of pruning and cutting. We trim off dead branches to make way for new growth, in addition to watering, fertilizing, and sunning our plants for maximum growth and yield.
Jesus, as our gardener, looks at the fruit of our spirits. We are designed as flowering branches, expected to grow abundant fruit by yielding ourselves to His loving care–as well as His pruning shears.
Daily we ask for forgiveness through Christ’s blood shed at the cross and ready our spirits to receive His nourishment. As the Holy Spirit flows through our lives, like water inside branches, we are filled to overflowing, without sin or iniquity blocking the flow.
Jesus also cultivates us by cutting away any dead works, pruning us to the nub so that more sap can get through. Since we are connected to Jesus through faith after we’re born-again, our vines are fed by the sap of the Holy Spirit, automatically causing us to bear much fruit.
What kinds of things does God prune away in our lives? Perhaps ones like bad habits, wrong thinking, or negative attitudes and words. Sometimes it may involve losing friendships or changing activities that are leading us down wrong paths. And yes, this cutting away can be very painful.
Although pruning represents a loss in our lives, it’s necessary so we can produce abundant fruit. As spiritual branches, we have a choice: either be withered, cut off, and burned up in God’s fire OR abide in the vine and bear much fruit.
He also promises to give us our heart’s desire if we plant His Word in our spirits. Isn’t that a sweet promise to do and claim?
Our goal is to bring God glory by bearing much fruit for His Kingdom. How has the Lord been using His pruning shears in your life?
Prayer: Dear Lord, we humbly ask You to cultivate us to be more fruitful. May we willingly yield our spirits to your pruning shears. Give us much fruit so we can bring you much glory. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Let’s pray one for another. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.
10 thoughts on “The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 7”
I enjoy gardening. I haven’t planted anything since moving to SC. Too many snakes. My parents always had a garden. Flower gardens and vegetable gardens. I have precious memories of tilling the soil and planting the seeds. Then, watching the sprouts appear. This reminds me of how my faith continues to grow each day. Seeds are planted and sprouts grow every day. 🙂 What a blessing to know the Master Gardener loves us.
I love how God compares our faith to planting seeds and cultivating plants. Can’t we all relate to that metaphor? I’m so sorry there are snakes in SC, Mimi. I wouldn’t be gardening there either, lol. Like you, I have good memories of lush gardens at my great-grandparents’ farm.
So nice to see you today, Mimi. Blessings, dear friend. ❤️
Lovely message. I love the example of the Vine and branches 🙂 I love to garden, but getting up and down (mostly up) keeps me from too much of it anymore, but little by little, I’m enjoying adding pops of perennial color to my natural landscape the woods provide at The Peaceable. Thank you for sharing, Karen 🙂
Sounds beautiful, Caryl. I agree, gardening is fun, but it does have its challenges. 🌱 Wishing you a blessed day, sweet sister. ❤️
Karen, thank you for bringing us another excellent message as you continue focusing on “Love” in The Fruit of the Spirit part of this series. I am so thankful that He loves me enough to do the necessary pruning to allow me to bear more fruit that I may humbly serve Him to further His Kingdom and bring honor and glory to His Holy Name. j
I agree, Joyce, that we reap bountifully from God’s pruning shears. I’m also thankful that God loves us enough to cultivate us so we bear bountiful fruit. Bless you as you faithfully serve for His kingdom. ❤️
“We are designed as flowering branches, expected to grow abundant fruit by yielding ourselves to His loving care–as well as His pruning shears.” I love that. Great post, Karen.
Thanks, Gail. So glad you stopped by today. Blessings, dear friend. ❤️
I love that the Father is glorified when we bear much fruit, and it always stops me when I read it, to ask God if I am really bearing much fruit, or little fruit, and what quality the fruit is. It really isn’t fun to undergo pruning, but so important to get rid of injured, dead, infected, or unwanted & unnecessary roots and branches. I cringe at this thought, and compare it to the Potter molding remaking, pushing, and stretching the clay.
Oftentimes the things that I see God pruning in my life are when He cuts away things like how I use my time – what is really necessary and what I only think is necessary. Without His guidance I can waste time & precious energy that He wants me to spend elsewhere. Sometimes it’s just the timing that is off, and sometimes it’s just plain unnecessary burdens or projects that I have heaped or taken upon myself. I like to start each day by praying that He will guide me in each thing He wants me to accomplish, and that I will joyfully let go of the things He isn’t leading me to do. Only God can help me do that! But I can trust that the pruning will help me produce more fruit.
Good thoughts, Becky. I agree I want to be rid of what is clogging up my life with waste. I’m also cognizant of wasting time, and I’ve cut back on playing online word games and looking through other SM distractions. I also must limit my TV viewing time. Some days I’m so tired I could sit there mindlessly for hours. Now I use my “dead time” to listen to online teachings and sermons, to listen to praise and worship music, and spend more time in prayer and reading the Word. I want to be a sponge and absorb as much as I can.
It’s a new struggle each day as we go forward to serve the Lord. I’m thankful for His grace and forgiveness when I fail. But remembering, as you said, that He is pleased when we bear fruit gives me the motivation I need to do my best by His power. God is so good to us as we strive toward the goal! ❤️