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Avocado Trees
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Not long ago, my wife and I were thinking about getting an avocado tree. So I went on the Internet to get instructions on how to grow one. This is what I learned.

First of all, the avocado tree has to be planted in a certain type of soil in order for it to grow. Without this soil the tree will never be able to grow. Consequently, we cannot grow the tree here in Virginia—unless we plant it in a pot. The tree also has to be pruned every so often so it will grow more branches, grow larger, and produce fruit. Even if the tree is planted in the ground it will take at least two years for it to produce fruit. If the tree remains planted in a pot it may never grow fruit because the roots will never get a chance to grow out.

While I was reading these instructions I couldn’t help but think of the description Jesus gave his disciples about the vine in John 15:1-11. Jesus begins by explaining that He is the true vine and nobody can bear fruit without being connected to Him. Jesus is the only soil that can develop us into into a Godly, spiritual person. Furthermore, in order for us to mature and produce much fruit we have to be "planted in the ground", or be open to the truths found in the Bible. So not only do we have to read the Bible, we have to apply it to our own lives and produce fruit.

Pruning Is Good

When we're part of the vine, Jesus also tells us of our need to be trimmed so we can grow more fruit. This is the pruning. Pruning occurs when we go through trials and have to rely on Jesus to make it through. Pruning also occurs so we can learn how to change our life. Overcoming these hard times helps us to produce more fruit and be a better witness to others. We can show people that they can overcome their difficulties through the power of Jesus as well. Similar to the avocado tree, the main pruning process occurs the first few years after we have turned our hearts over to God. But don’t forget that the pruning process will likely continue throughout your whole lifetime.

Jesus told His disciples that if they did not abide in Him they would be cast off and burned by fire. He instructed them and us to continue in His love by keeping His commandments (all of them). When we do abide in Him (keeping His commandments) we will receive whatever we ask of the Father.

Jesus finishes by saying, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). This is how fruit is produced in our lives. Are you a part of the true vine?

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By David Wolstenholm. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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