Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Reza Zadeh - Reveal the Distractions

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 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.” – John 15:1-8

“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.” — Ephesians 4:29

A few years ago, I was officiating a wedding for two longtime friends. They decided to get married at a beautiful winery in the foothills of California. The setting was beautiful. My wife and I took a walk around the winery to explore the beauty that surrounded us.

We came across one of the winemakers assigned the task of overseeing the growth and harvesting of grapes for the wine that would be produced. We asked him about the process of growing grapes and he told us the hardest part of his job was to determine which grapes to cut from the vine and which grapes to allow to stay connected. The vines need to be pruned so the nutrients carried by the vines don’t get diluted in several branches, but are concentrated in a few that will produce the most mature grapes.

This is the principle Jesus teaches His followers in John 15. Jesus knows we are people that get easily distracted. We can find ourselves distracted with a lot of good efforts, while at the same time miss the depth and joy that comes from focusing on a few things.

What are the relationships, habits and situations you need to “prune” from your life? Ask the Lord to reveal the things that often distract you and ask Him to help you prune those from your life. As you do, you’ll experience the full life Jesus promises and become fruitful in all you set out to do in His name.

— Reza Zadeh, Denver Broncos chaplain

The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit for more stories and videos.