This devotional was originally published on May 19, 2017.

Grapevines will grow in nearly any kind of soil or climate, so most people believe that growing grapes is fairly easy. However, when the vines are first planted, they require a ton of care and attention for them to be able to produce fruit annually. In fact, in the first two years after planting a grapevine, most don’t produce any fruit at all. The root system needs to grow strong enough to support the heaviness of a bunch of grapes. Left untouched, vines will only produce grapes one time. The more grapevines are pruned, the more productive they will become. If constantly cared for by a vinedresser, grapevines will come back each year, bigger and fuller, ready to bear more and more fruit.

“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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” — John 15:1-2

Our Godly Father is the vinedresser, and willingly desires to spend time pruning our branches. He wants our vines to have deep roots in him, so that we are strong enough to produce fruit. He asks only one thing of us: to abide.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” — John 15:4

When we abide in him, we are then showing our God that we want him to prune us. This is the relationship between the branch and the vinedresser. Abiding, pruning, pruning, abiding, pruning, pruning and pruning some more. His pruning may be difficult for us, but it’s part of the relationship, and it makes us better. The vinedresser wants to have big juicy grapes at the end of the summer, and our God wants his love, his joy, his peace, his patience, his kindness, his goodness, his faithfulness, his gentleness and his self-control to fill us perfectly. In this, he is glorified.

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” — John 15:8