#5157 – Fruit from our Connection

Good morning people who reap the benefit of the overflow of being in Christ.

John 15:3-4 NIV “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.

I think every believer wants to be fruitful. I do, and I’m sure you do.

By fruitful, I firstly mean ‘the fruit of the Spirit’. We want our lives to reflect God accurately. We want His life to overflow and be clearly seen in our lives.

Secondly, I am talking about ‘the success of what God has called us to do’. I’m not talking about natural success and accomplishing what we want to do. Rather, I am talking about the fruitfulness of the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do.

Again, we all want to be fruitful, and this is wonderful.

Jesus knows this and He tells us plainly how we can be fruitful. He again points us to remaining in Him.

I feel we need to hear today, that remaining in Jesus is not a chore that needs to be done. Not at all. Remaining in Jesus is remaining in life! This is what we were created to do from the very beginning. We were created by God and we were created to remain in God.

We are talking about intimacy here. We are talking about an inseparable oneness with God.

So, I want to shift our focus today. Some of us reading this need to shift from “I must remain in Jesus so that I can be fruitful”, to “I am guaranteed to produce fruit because I have the joy of being connected to the true vine!”

Oh how we need a revival of the privilege of what it is to be connected with Jesus!

#5156 – Remain as Jesus Remains

Good morning people who get their example from who Jesus is.

John 15:3-4 NIV “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.”

Jesus tells us to remain in Him, as He remains in us; in the same way He remains in us.

How does Jesus remain in us?

Fully, completely, passionately, intentionally, actively, in a pursuing way. He is all-in, always.

When we remain in Jesus this way, fruit is guaranteed!

If we look at the context of these verses, Jesus doesn’t want us to separate His words from His life. In fact, we remain in Him when we remain in His words. Think about this.

And this is where the fruit flows from! Fruit doesn’t come from a separated branch. Fruit comes from a branch that remains connected to the vine.

Jesus loves seeing His life flow in us. Remember, He is Life. Therefore, I believe today that the Father wants us to mediate on the deep desire of Jesus to remain in us. Shift your focus from you having to remain in Him, and turn it to the incredible truth that Jesus wants to remain in you.

Now that’s good news.

#5155 – Cleaned by the Word

Good morning people who are cleansed by the Word of God.

John 15:3 NIV “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”

Jesus is the Word and He is the Truth. Jesus speaks the word and He speaks the truth. The whole Bible is a word about the Word, and it is the truth about the Truth.

And when we live in it – feasting on it, meditating on it, and fully living life by it – we are clean by the power of the Word!

A fruitful branch is a cleansed branch, and a cleansed branch is cleansed by the washing of the water by the Word of God.

Godly people are not made godly by their good works. Rather, godly people are godly because of the Word of God in their lives that washes them and also empowers them to live a life worthy of the vine that they are connected to.

As a young boy, Jesus studied God’s Word and hid it in His heart. In times of temptation, Jesus fought the devil with the written Word of God. God’s Word was fuel to Jesus’ life and ministry.

How much more do we need to be people of God’s Word!

Many Christians – myself included far too often – have felt unclean because of what we have done. And so we try harder and we work harder and we repent more so that we can be clean in God’s eyes (and maybe in our own eyes too).

Jesus said, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”

Therefore, I believe it’s time to go back to God’s Word. Refute that lie through God’s Word. Overcome that temptation through God’s Word. Discover more about what God is like through God’s Word. Get God’s eternal kingdom perspective on all things – including yourself – through God’s Word.

Jesus is the Word and the Word speaks. We are cleansed by that Word.

#5154 – The Father Cuts and Prunes

Good morning people who live as a reflection of Jesus Christ.

John 15:1-2 NIV “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.

The Father loves the Son and He likes the Son. He loves who He is. He loves what He does. He loves everything about His Son.

And anything connected to His Son should look like His Son. This is the Father’s intention and it is His pursuit.

This is not about natural striving and human perfection. This is not about good works as a means to being accepted. No, we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and we have been saved by grace through faith. Hallelujah!

But there are still spiritual laws at work, including sowing and reaping.

An apple tree will produce apples. An orange tree will produce oranges. A lemon tree will produce lemons.

If a branch connected to one of these trees is unfruitful, it will eventually be removed. If it is fruitful, like a rose bush, there are times when it is pruned back for the very reason of producing more fruit.

People connected to Jesus will be fruitful because He is… Well, He is Jesus! Life has to flow from Him and produce fruit to all that is connected to Him. Again, this is what the Father desires and it is how the spiritual realm works.

Therefore, like natural trees, the Father will remove what needs to be removed if a branch is not a healthy representation of the vine that it is connected to. The Father will also prune (clean) a healthy branch so that it can look even more like Jesus.

The Father wants sons and daughters who look like His eternal Son. This is how much the Father loves His Son.

#5153 – Vine and Gardener

Good morning people connected to Jesus and kept healthy by the Father.

John 15:1-2 NIV 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.”

John 15 is a very well-known scripture. But I know there is more for us to see about who God is, including the perfect interaction between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as their different functions in our lives.

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”

Jesus is not the gardener, His Father – our Father – is. Those pruning times in our lives are done by the Father.

Jesus, is however, the true vine; the one whom we have been grafted into.

Jesus is not just a vine; He is the true vine. There are not many vines that we should or can be connected to if we want to walk in eternal life.

I love the constant pointing towards truth and what is true from Jesus. Remember, He is the truth, and therefore, what is true is central and inseparable to who He is.

Anything connected to a healthy vine will be healthy. Well, Jesus is very healthy! In fact, He is PERFECTION (I had to type this in capital letters to give adequate weight to what we need to hear).

Jesus is also the life and life flows from Him – it can’t not flow from Him because it is who He is!

Yet, as we will see, branches that are in Him (connected to the vine) can be fruitless and need either pruning or cutting away completely. This is deep and a profound truth that we should lean into further over coming days.

Jesus is the true vine and His Father – our Father – is the gardener.