"I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He
cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. " John 15:1-4
If you've read the opening scripture of this post and looked to the right at the picture of my plant; you probably know where I'm going with this already. The good thing about this is verse 4 of the scripture is a promise that essentially communicates if we stay connected to Christ by praying daily, reading His word, etc; He then will stay in fellowship with us.
A simple yet POWERFUL illustration of this would be a water hose. The purpose of the water hose is to spray water. The ONLY way the hose can spray water is if it's connected to the nozzle, which is connected to the house. What an example of our relationship with God! Follow me. In this example, the house (the source). The nozzle represents Jesus, which is directly connected to the house (God). The purpose of the hose (US) is only fulfilled if it's connected to the nozzle (Jesus).
I'll wrap up this post with this last thought.
"Then Jesus told this story: "A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, 'I've waited three years, and there hasn't been a single fig! Cut it down. It's just taking up space in the garden.' "The gardener answered, 'Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I'll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down." Luke 13:1-8
I received this plant at my last job. I resigned and began a new job December 2014 and I took the plan with me to my new job. One of the tips I remember my former co-worker giving me was to cut off the leaves of the plant that turn yellow (hence the picture above). She told me, "If you do not cut this off, it will suck up the water and nutrients the other healthy leaves are supposed to get." In the scripture above, Jesus tells the story with the same principle. The blessing is there is someone reading this post who believes they have been that "bad leaf" who have simply been taking up space, not active in ministry, not growing, etc. Let me direct your attention to verses 8 and 9 of Luke 13. It says "The gardener answered, 'Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I'll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down." This is an example of the grace God gives us! He's giving you more time to become active...to become useful...to serve in whatever capacity to further advance the gospel!