Summary: True joy comes from being in Christ
He Is My JOY!
Summary: True joy comes from being in Christ
Scripture: John 15:1-15:11 (add scripture)
Tags: Joy (add tag)
Illustration: The great vine of Hampton Court: There is a grapevine under glass, estimated to be over 1,000 years old, it has only one root - 2ft thick, some of the branches are over 200 ft long, it produces tons of grapes each year, some of the smaller branches are over 200 ft from the main stem - they still produce large quantities of fruit - they are still joined with the vine, thus the life of the vine flows to all of the branches,
B. Jim’s grape vines - Large thing of vines, we made gape jelly and grape juice, one of the largest sections had something wrong, it never grew any fruit, Problem = disease in the branches, friend came over - trimmed and pruned the branches, not much was left of the large vine, my sister said it was a lost cause, they left the small vines, the next year they looked a little better but had very little fruit, another year passes and the vine was better still but had little fruit, the last year they owned the house the vine was large and full and had the best fruit - why? because they helped the vine become productive
C. Common Bond: Both of these stories are about vines, they both seem to be about the same thing fruitfulness, they both get their life from the same source the vine,
The True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branchthat bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throwthem into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Love and Joy Perfected
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
I. The true vine
A. The role of Jesus
1. The vine imagery: Grapevines are very prolific, Israel associated vines with their faithfulness to God, their fruitfulness in God’s plan for the earth, they were the vine that was well planted and well cared for by God, there was a specific problem - prophetic images = good vines with rotten fruit, Israel looked good but they weren’t fruitful,
2. Jesus is the new and true vine: Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s purpose and plan for humanity and His people, Jesus becomes the source of unity for all believers, it is Christ that becomes the source of life for all people, he is the true vine
B. The role of the Father: The role of the Father is twofold
1. God is the gardener: The NKJV calls God the vinedresser, he works with the vine to make it productive, this takes loving care from the vine dresser, the goal is to make the vine the best it can be with the best fruit it can have
2. The pruning process: The first task in productivity is to prune the unfruitful branches, wild vines are unproductive, they take vital nutrients from the better parts of the vine, thus that which bears no fruit is removed, the second task is to make the good parts of the vine more productive, this increases the fruitfulness
Illustration: LETTING GO OF SIN
Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ring-tailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.