15 “[a]I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit].3 You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you].4 Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me.5 [b]I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken off] branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.8 My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.9 I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you].10 If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.11 I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing. – John 15:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John15:1-11&version=AMP
I’ve always loved this passage. There is something so ‘earthy’ about knowing we are a part of God’s great Vineyard and that He cares for each one of us individually. We as Christians are all part of something bigger than ourselves, interconnected regardless of denominational or cultural difference. Rejoice in being of the Vine, of His tending of His vines and the trimming out of our dead wood.
Blessings – Andrew