1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. John 15:1-4 (NASB)
When My dad was still with us he loved to garden. One of his passions was to grow tomatoes. When I was a teenager we were living in a suburb of Oklahoma City called Yukon. Our backyard wasn’t small, but it wasn’t big either….
One day in early spring he came home from work and informed me we were going to dig up and turn over the dirt in a square at the back side of our yard. He told me he was sick to death of store-bought tomatoes. I really didn’t understand what he meant by that, but I did help him break up that ground.
That Saturday he came home with several very small tomato plants. He carefully planted them in neat rows. He placed some coffee cans with both ends cut out over each one. The cans were for the plants protection from Cutworms and to help protect them from frost. Over the next several weeks those plants grew and grew. As they grew tall my dad carefully propped up the vines. By mid-summer each plant had many green tomatoes. Each day my dad would carefully check each plant to see if any were ripening. It was intriguing, I must admit. I wanted to see why it was so important to him. Over the next several days I did notice some of them were beginning to turn red.