Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:2–4—NKJV)

With the Spring season of the year fast approaching, both avid and recreational gardeners begin to strategize for the harvest. Every vegetable catalogue arrives in the mail brimming with beauty, hope, and possibilities. Picture after picture looks so mouth-wateringly good you can practically taste the promised harvest! How do they get such beauties?

The “gardening catalogue” for every believer is the Bible. Practically every page is brimming with hints, ideas, and promises for your spiritual harvest! John 15:8 states, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be my disciples.” Spiritual fruit is still being harvested to this very day. You, if you are born again (John 3:3, 16), are a living product of diligent gardening and spiritual fruit bearing. Perhaps a faithful parent, a witnessing friend, a praying home-bound prayer warrior, or a mission-minded acquaintance was the branch God used to bring your salvation to fruition. You were the prize when the planted seed of the Word of God came to life within you by the Holy Spirit. Now you have a garden of your own to plant, tend, water, and prayerfully harvest for God’s glory. What fruit are you anticipating for God’s glory?

The context of our passage stretches from verse 1 to verse 17. Various levels of fruit bearing are discussed, beginning with no fruit, mere fruit, and more fruit in verse 2. Then our Lord presses His disciples to bear much fruit in verse 5. Maintaining production of enduring fruit is the goal of Jesus as He says (verse 16), “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He may give you.” With a spiritual gardening catalogue that makes promises like this, how can you not bear a bounteous harvest rivaling the best of the garden catalogue beauties? And ours is a harvest that does not fade away.

What is the key to such a prayed-for and longed-for harvest? Our Lord gives us four keys to “master-gardener class” fruit bearing.

Key One: Be in the Vine (Jesus tells us He is the true Vine in verse 1). Be sure you are born again, for without life in Christ you are not alive, and no dead branch produces fruit.

Key Two: Be Pruned (verse 2). The Greek word means to be cleansed, purged. Fruit trees need the ministrations of the gardener in order to prune away growth that has no hope of producing fruit and prune away growth that blocks the healthy growth of fruit. Remember, sin must be confessed and forsaken in order to take advantage of the full life from Christ flowing through you.

Key Three: Be Abiding (verse 4). The Greek word means to continue, dwell, remain, stand, and to tarry. It is indicative of abiding in place. A fruitful branch must be in such close proximity that it is attached directly to the vine. The driving force of every believer must be to pursue Christ, draw near to Him, and live dependently on Him. You need to draw daily wisdom, life, and strength to bear fruit from Him. This dependent attitude is so important to fruit bearing that our Lord reiterates the need to abide nine times from verses 4 through 11.

Key Four: Be Obeying (verses 10, 11). In the order of priority the vine comes first, then the branches. Naturally, since you are a fruit-bearing branch, you must obey the orders from the Vine or the fruit will be damaged, and likely negligible. Follow explicitly the commandments of your Lord.

It is in this context of devotion that you are promised that your prayers for fruit will be answered (verses 7–8). Look to the hints, ideas, and promises for fruit in the Word of God. What gardening do you need to do in your life in order to bear award winning fruit this year? Trust and obey.