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What will make you more productive? If you go to the self-help section of a bookstore or a website you will find many resources to help with productivity. Maybe the deeper question is, what is the source of your need? Are you falling behind or overwhelmed by your workload, or even your life? We generally feel better about ourselves whenever we are more productive. It can impact our self-esteem, our finances, and even our relationships. In our series Here I am Send Me the sermon this week is Bearing Fruit. We turn to John 15:1-11 and one of Jesus’s last conversations with his disciples before the crucifixion. He knew they would have to endure grief, hardship, and uncertainty. He was also preparing them for the days ahead. Jesus wanted them to find the source that would empower their lives beyond the difficulty they would face. He tells them they have been called to “bear fruit.” We are tempted to read this through the lens of exhaustion and wonder how we are going to add one more thing to our plate! Jesus was not trying to give them or us one more task, but he wants us to connect to a fullness of heart that enables the seeds of faith to become great trees of hope. Jesus’s words to his disciples are even more powerful for each of us today. All disciples are called to bear fruit that will last an eternity, and these words help us to find the path to the strength, hope, and joy to be vibrant believers despite the difficulties we may face. This is our most earnest prayer for you, may you experience a fullness of God’s love and grace that empowers you to say, Here I am! Send me!

John 15:1-11 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (NIV)