Abundant and eternal fruit
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 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. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
John 15: 1-3
When we moved to Chiang Mai on June 1st 2012, we gratefully house-sat for the Parlatos, giving us an opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the city before deciding where to set up our own home. Amy Parlato is a keen and thoughtful gardener, and we arrived just as her mangoes, papayas and star fruit were all ripening – the perfect welcome to our new tropical lifestyle!
It’s hard work managing a garden. Rach and I helped Amy a little before she left, and were impressed with the effort she put into it. The fruits of her labour (so to speak) paid off however, as over the next few weeks, we couldn’t believe how much fruit was produced by a just a few trees. Despite our best efforts to eat it all, many jars of mango had to be stored in Amy’s freezer.
Imagine Eden for a moment. It will have been breathtakingly perfect, overflowing with goodness, with everything in order and radiating wholesome beauty. And of course, prior to the fall, totally absent of death and destruction. After all, our creator God who sustains all life, was the gardener.
What if God promised to work on us in the same way He did Eden? As born-again Christians living by the Spirit, this is what John 15: 1-3 refers to. Our physical bodies are dying by the minute, but if we abide in Jesus, and trust in His word, our spirits will be pruned to produce fruit in abundance and of eternal value.
This was the second of two devotions prepared for Chiang Mai Community Church’s Easter Devotional series in 2014, for the theme: Who do you say that I am?