Summary: Christ calls us to a connected life.
He is the Vine We are the Branches
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. John 15:1-8 NRSV
Over the years, I have performed a number of funerals. In some of those, there were large extended families who were there. These families where at the funeral, because they were connected, they had stayed connected. They spoke with each other, they laughed with each other, they argued, cried & comforted each other.
These families, before & after the funeral – laughed and cried together.
Others – less connected. Different
You can’t have a supportive family without staying connected. PRAY
Branches grafted in – to root stock – they have to change to get their life source from the root. If we want to be grafted into God so that we have that promise from v. 7, we have to change where we abide – where we remain, dwell and gain your nourishment.
1. To be what God wants you to be it is necessary to abide in Him and to allow His word to dwell richly in your mind. How much time and effort do you spend in memorizing and meditating on His Word. God told Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you will meditate on it, day & night so that you may be careful to do, for then you will make your ways prosperous & then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Best way is to allow God’s word to fill our mind, heart, soul & emotions with God’s perspective. Creative Ways. Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly with all wisdom, teaching & admonishing one another w/ songs & hymns & spiritual songs. Singing & making melody in your hearts & whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Col. 3:16,17)
Branch cannot bear fruit unless gains all of its minerals, nutrients & support from Vine. Illustration: Cow chews grass, swallows it & it goes to 1st stomach where all nutrients have time to be absorbed into cow’s stomach
2. To let Jesus abide in us means we allow God to speak to us. HS convicts, redirects and reminds us of truth necessary to remain in God’s will. Not enough to just think about His word, we must allow it to transform us more into the image of Jesus Christ.
Welcome, not as a silent guest w/ no opinions or commands, but as an authoritative guest - opinions matter more to us than anyone else’s & whose commands are the law of our life. He is the Vine We are the Branches
3. Allow Jesus & His word to frame priorities, perceptions & reactions to all of life’s situations. allow principles of Christ & word to predominate way of thinking. Abiding in Christ means - relying on His promises when we have all kinds of opposition, uncertainties & difficulties.
A favorite promise comes from 2 Pet 1:3,4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally & intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. (The Message)
He is the Vine We are the Branches
4 Abiding in Christ means finding our primary fulfillment in Him. Jesus said, “You have a choice, “The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, kill and destroy but I came that you might have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) He is the Vine We are the Branches
Ways to Abide
1) Set aside time to do nothing but read God’s Word & talk w/ God about God’s plans, purposes & power for each part of our activities & relationships