"And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:2)
The thought of fruit is very prominent in the eyes of Him who sees things as they are. Fruit is so truly the one thing God has set His heart upon that our Lord, after having said that the branch which bears no fruit is taken away, adds: and where there is fruit, the one desire of the Husbandman is more fruit. As the gift of His grace, as the token of spiritual vigor, as the demonstration of the glory of God and Christ, and as the only way for satisfying the need of the world, God longs for more fruit.
More fruit. This is a very searching word. As churches and individuals, we are in danger of desiring self-contentment more than we are of anything else. The secret of Laodicea - we are rich and abundant in goods, and have need of nothing - may exist even though we are not aware of it. The divine warning - poor and wretched and miserable - finds little recognition where it is most needed.
Let us not be content with the thought that we are taking an equal share with others in the work that is being done. Let us not rest in the thought that men are satisfied with our efforts in Christ's service, or even point to us as examples. Let our only desire be to know whether we are bearing all the fruit Christ is willing to give through us as living branches. Let us desire to rest in close and living union with Him, and to satisfy the loving heart of the great Husbandman, our Father in heaven, in His desire for more fruit.
More fruit. The word comes with divine authority to search and test our life. The true disciple will heartily surrender himself to its holy light. He will earnestly ask that God Himself show him what is lacking in the measure or the character of the fruit he bears. Do believe that the Word is meant to lead us on to a fuller experience of the Father's purpose of love, of Christ's fullness, and of the wonderful privilege of bearing much fruit in the salvation of men.
More fruit. The word is a most encouraging one. Let us listen to it. The message of "more fruit" only comes to the branch which i already bearing fruit. God does not demand this as Pharaoh the taskmaster, or as Moses the lawgiver, without providing the means. He comes as a Father, who gives what He asks, and works what He commands. He comes to us as the living branches of the living Vine, and offers to work the "more fruit" in us. He will do so only if we yield ourselves into His hands. Will we not admit the claim, accept the offer, and look to Him to work it in us?
"That it may bring forth more fruit." Do believe that, as the owner of a vine does everything to make the fruitage as rich and large as possible, the divine Husbandman will do all that is needed to make us bear more fruit. All He asks is that we set our heart's desire on it, entrust ourselves to His working and care, and joyfully look to Him to do His perfect work in us. God has set His heart on more fruit. Christ waits to work it in us. Let us joyfully look up to our divine Husbandman and our heavenly Vine to ensure our bearing more fruit.
Our Father which art in heaven, You are the heavenly Husbandman. And Christ is the heavenly Vine. And I am a heavenly branch, partaker of His heavenly life, to bear His heavenly fruit. Father, let the power of His life so fill me that I may always bear more fruit, to the glory of Your Name. Amen