Bearing Fruit in Your Home{School}, Part 2: The Vineyard

{Listen to Part 2 here}

As we discuss bearing fruit in our homeschool, let’s first establish where we fit into this fruit-bearing process.  What is our role?  What is our responsibility?

Let’s travel back in time to an ancient vineyard.

As one author described it, “Vineyards in Israel, like vineyards today, needed a vinedresser to care for them because vines by nature grow on the ground, produce an abundance of leaves, and very little fruit.  Left to its own the vine will produce so much foliage that the cover of leaves will prevent the sun from ripening the tiny grapes that are trying to develop beneath the cover of thick leaves.”

To be certain, the purpose of these vineyards would be to produce fruit, to be fruitful.  But notice, left to themselves, they would produce an abundance of leaves and very little fruit.  So many leaves would grow, in fact, that they would actually interfere with the fruit growing process.  As one person stated, “The healthiest vine is not the one with the brightest green leaves for show but the one that bears fruit.”  As we look over the ways of our household in the context of bearing fruit, it begs the question for both us personally and for our households: is there an abundance of leaves “for show” at the expense of fruit?  Let us carefully and prayerfully consider what may be preventing the sun from ripening the fruit in our homeschools.

Let us also note the personal care, watchful eye, and daily involvement of the vinedresser in order to ensure a successful crop.

Not only is the vinedresser’s job to plant, water, and fertilize.  His job is to care for the vines.   Someone said, “The vines aren’t able to care for themselves, they can’t lift themselves up to free themselves from the fungus and insects that can destroy them, but the vinedresser can and he does.  He tends his vines day in and day out, lifting them up, freeing them from that which can diminish their productivity and even destroy them.  He not only lifts them up, he also prunes them, including cleaning them, to help them in their productivity of fruit.”

Ok, this is great, but what does this have to do with us, you might be wondering?  Everything!!

Jesus said in John 15:1, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the Gardener.”  He goes on to say in verse 5, “You are the branches.”  Jesus is the vine, we are the branches.  We have in the Father a Gardener who is so attentive, wise, faithful, and loving.

Some of you are just trying to stay afloat.  Some of you have entered what seems to be the most challenging homeschool year yet.  You don’t know how you will “get by” let alone “be fruitful.”  The last thing I would want is for you to feel like there is more on your to-do list, more you have to “do.”  These lessons from the vineyard are for you, my friend.  You have a Gardener of your soul who is tender and nurturing, who daily is watchful, present, and faithful.

Producing fruit is not something else for you to do, it is a by-product of who you are, of being a branch connected to the Vine.  It is a by-product of having a gracious God as your Gardener and being in a relationship with Him.  

Jesus continued in John 15, “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.  Those who remain in Me and I in them, will produce much fruit.  For apart from Me, you can do nothing.”

Separated from Him, we can do nothing.  But connected, united to Him, we will bear fruit.  The key is abiding in Christ.  Christ in us and us in Christ produces fruit in our lives as a result of His life, His Spirit in usOverwhelmed and overstressed moms, it is not our effort that will produce fruit but rather His life in us and our abiding in Him that will allow us to bear much fruit.  

If nothing else, may we desire to know this gracious Gardener of our souls more intimately.  As we abide in His Word and in His love, we will bear fruit.

Continue to Part 3

Listen to this message in its entirety by clicking here.


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