“A fruit-bearing tree lives not for itself, but wholly for those to whom its fruit brings refeshment and life. And so the branch exists only and entirely for the sake of the fruit. To make glad the heart of the husbandman is its object, its safety, and its glory.”
“Beautful image of the believer, abiding in Christ!…Amid all who surround him he becomes like a tree of life, of which they can taste and be refreshed.”
A practical example of the above is something that transpired on the blog just a few days ago. In abiding in the Vine, a post was written. In abiding in the Vine, one was led to read that post. The Life that flows through the Vine into the branches manifested fruit from the branch for the Husbandman to take and give to another. The one who read, or tasted of the fruit, was then refreshed. Then, that same Life flowed through that branch thus producing fruit that the Husbandman then took and gave back to the first branch. The first branch tasted of that fruit and was then refreshed. This was the Tree of Life producing fruit though His branches for the benefit of the Husbandman to do with as He pleases – simple, practical.
“If you work, abide in Christ. This is one of the blessings of work if done in the right spirit – it will deepen your union with your blessed Lord. It will doscover your weekness, and throw you back on His strength. It will stir you to much prayer; and in prayer for others is the time when the soul, forgetful of itself, unconsciously grows deeper into Christ.”
Let me give you another practical example. “Branch B” became intimately aware of a need of a couple of saints, “branch A”. In branch B itself, it did not have the resources to help with this need. By abiding in the Source for all Life, branch B was reminded of other saints, “branch C”, who did have the practical resources required. Prompted by the Vine, branch B reached out to branch C. That branch, in abiding in the Vine, was prompted to help satisfy the need of branch A. The fruit produced by the Vine through the branches was picked by the Husbandman and used for His pleasure, His will, His glory. Again, simple, practical.
Saints, it’s not our fruit, but His. It’s not our life that produces it, but His. It’s not our work, but His. Abide in the Vine.