John 15:1-17

The Father Gardener

John 15:1-17
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 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. “I am the vine; you are the branches.”
John 15:1-5
I love that in a few short statements, we are provided a most incredible framework to view life. Simple in one sense – enormously profound in another.

There is a Gardener. There is a Vine. There are branches. Each have a place, a purpose, a role. There is only one Gardener. There is only one Vine. There are numerous branches. Too numerous to begin counting. And all three parts are linked.

As I’ve thought about this week’s passage that we’re focussing on – the first half of John 15 – I’ve enjoyed considering the fact that there is a Gardener tending to my life. Not a trainee, new-to-the-job, apprentice Gardener. Not one who is learning the ropes as he goes along. But one who has been cultivating and nurturing my life, from the very first moment, as Psalm 139 wonderfully explains. One who knows what I need, when I need it. One who knows my innermost desires and feelings. One whose perspective is beyond measure. Who sees the past, present and future of my life simultaneously. Who isn’t bound by broad, obvious seasons of my life; or thrown off course by the erratic moments where I quickly and easily sin.  

He regards my life and knows precisely what He’s doing with it.

And the key part of that plan is that I might be inextricably joined with His Son, Jesus. Like a fragile branch that draws everything it requires directly from a sturdy, established vine. My life is given what it needs – is replenished and grown - straight from what is received from this Vine.

And the invitation over my life, is to not to strain and struggle and try my utmost to keep myself going; to keep myself somehow attached to this vine in the hope that life starts to get more comfortable or successful. But to trust and believe that He is holding all things together and working all things for my good. I am to remain in this. To abide in it.

And for those who surrender their lives and then remain in the love of Christ and explore a lifestyle that practices living like He did, a fruitfulness can be expected. Not ‘fruit’ like the world prizes most: success, wealth, popularity, to name a few. But a character exchange slowly and steadily begins occurring, where traits such as joy, peace, patience, self-control or kindness start to become evident (to name a few).

What could possibly be more wonderful? What more could I possibly require?


  1. Take a moment now. Consider the image of a vine, being carefully tended to by a gardener. What thoughts does that simple image evoke?

  2. What area of your life do you feel a sense of disconnection from Jesus? Is there a particular area that you feel a lack of faith/belief in - that He might perhaps be absent from?

  3. Reading Galatians 5 v22-23, is there a fruit of the Spirit that you would like to see newly displayed in your character this week. 



Thank you that you know our lives and we can trust you in what you are doing with us. Thank you that you haven’t cast us adrift and your plan isn’t to leave us feeling isolated or disconnected. You’ve given us imagery that reveals the truth that we can be completely joined with you. Our lives are not our own – we are part of something bigger, far greater. Jesus, you are the Vine and our lives are only nurtured and made fruitful as we remain together with you. 
Holy Spirit, please reveal the greatness of this truth to us today.

This Everyday Devotions was written by Adam Bream who leads our Southfields Venue.

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