Fruitfulness is the natural outcome of healthy fruit trees and believers. It's how we glorify God and demonstrate that we are disciples of Christ. So of course we want to be fruitful.
Recently, I talked with you about "What it mean to follow Jesus."
Jesus describes the qualifications in Matthew 16:24 NLT Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
(If you missed myblog/ podcast, What does it mean to follow Jesus? Here’s the link. I'll put it at the bottom of this post as well.)
I've also put the link for the cheat sheet and the outline for this week's podcast.
I’ve got to tell you that in John 15, Jesus takes the relationship of a believer or follower of Christ to a whole ‘nother level! His challenge and command deepens both the relationship and the responsibility from following to abiding.
More than following...abiding!
Let’s look at John 15. Jesus is painting a word picture that they will understand readily, but it takes some explaining when you have not been exposed to an Agrarian culture and mindset.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Pruning seems brutal.
Don’t forget the hands that hold the pruning shear belong to the Father that loves you passionately.
Pruning is essential for fruitfulness.
Don’t resist the pruning.
Allow God to prune you, to shape you, to remove the things in your life that distract and rob you of the vitality to produce the fruit He has called you to produce.
3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
Never doubt the power of God’s Word to clean, to prune; even train us.
Hebrews 4:12 NIV For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
The Bible is so much more than information for your brain…
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
Your ability cannot produce the fruit that God is expecting from your life. You must stay connected.
Do you see the mandate?
Not just follow Jesus, but abide in Him! It happens at the new birth. What a life changing event!
1 John 4:15 If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. Jesus purchased our redemption; paid our debt of sin. When we confess, or agree with God, Believe on Jesus and accept His gift, the result is He is in us and we are in Him.
The root stock is the source of life for the branch.
The root stock drinks the water and nutrients; turns them into sap and sends them off to the branches. The sap is the life blood of the grapevine.
5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
Jesus is the vine. We are the branches.
If we abide= fruitfulness. Don’t abide= no fruit. NONE!
Do you want to be fruitful? Where is fruitfulness on your list of priorities?
You have a part in this process. How are you abiding in Him?
What area can you grow in that process?
That requires action on our part…so understanding what and how to do that is very important.
What does God say about abiding in Him?
What do you believe God is saying when He tells us to abide in Him?
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
But to put it in context of Scripture I believe abiding is best described from Thayer’s Bible Dictionary https://biblehub.com/greek/3306.htm “to maintain unbroken fellowship with one.”
What do you hear Jesus saying to you in this verse?
I hope you’ll spend some prayerful thought on this verse before you answer. God wants to lead you deeper in Him. It’s a very personal thing.
How do I maintain unbroken fellowship on my end?
What about you?
Does His Word challenge you to abide in Him? What does that challenge look like to you?
Stay in the Word.
7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
When His Word abides in us, we can expect answered prayers.
8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. Your fruitfulness brings glory to God.
Did you see that the Father is glorified and it proves that we are His disciples.
9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
Obey is one of the biggest little words in the Bible. It doesn't need to be explained. It just needs to be done.
11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
His joy in you! Wow! Not temporary laughter or pleasure...I love to laugh and have fun...but you can have His enduring joy...His joy...in you!
His joy isn't fragile!
Download this week's cheat sheet.
To get even more from this blog/podcast. Click here to download the outline for this blog/podcast.
While we're on the subject... here's more blogs that will help you abide in Jesus.
What does it mean to follow Jesus?
Believe to Receive
Looking for a speaker for your next conference or to minister in your church. Text me at 904 287-2869 or email me at pat@patriciaholland.