Tonight I was reminded of sharing a message based on John 15:1-17. I told my friends I’d look up my notes. Unfortunately, I only have a hard copy of them, so I’m going to take care of that now.
Introductory Truth Statements:
- God the Father is the gardener (His chief job is pruning).
- Jesus, the Father’s Son, is the vine (The vine relies on the Gardener. He’s our example for reliance. Chief job=provide life, strength, and connection to the Father).
- All who place their faith in the Son are the branches/shoots (Chief job=produce fruit).
- Non-fruit-bearing branches are cut off (They have no worth or glory).
- Fruit-bearing branches are pruned (Vines require pruning. The Gardener watches over every branch, yet he gives you the choice to remain).
- To bear fruit, a branch must remain.
- Apart from the vine, a branch cannot bear fruit.
- The Gardener works to increase the fruit of the branch.
Job #1 = Remain in the Vine
- Remain = don’t wander, stay, invest, pay attention, give up control, continue, cling, linger, abide, dwell, live, stand, stay connected
- Test your remaining by your fruit
- Test your remaining by your love
Job #2 = Value Pruning
Pruning is not the removal of weeds or thorns or anything from outside that may hinder the growth. No, it’s cutting off the long shoots of the previous year, removing something that comes from within that has been produced by the life of the vine itself, a proof of the vigor of its life. The more vigorous the growth has been, the greater the need for the pruning. It is the honest, healthy wood of the vine that has to be cut away.Abide in Me by Andrew Murray and Bo Stephens
- Test your valuing by your attitude toward the Gardener
- Test your valuing by your reaction to circumstances
- Test your valuing by your response to the Gardener’s Word
The great things God will do through you are going to grow in the soil of persistence, prayer, obedience, and sacrifice. That means there will be plenty of plowing and pruning. That’s the way living things grow…God has to work in us before he can work through us…when we want what God wants for the reasons he wants it, you’re unstoppable….When you ask God to do the impossible, he usually instructs you to do something uncomfortable. And inconvenient. (For church attenders, re-read this quote and replace the bold words with “a church.”Sun Stand Still by Stephen Furtick
Closing Prayer: “By your grace, Gardener, no matter what it costs me, I’m going to remain. I’m going to take you at your word. Even if it seems like you don’t know what you’re doing, I will trust that your pruning knife will cut away what’s not good in my life. I will trust that you work all things in my life together for my good and your glory. Cleanse me through your word. Cut away any roots that will hinder the Vine from finding me wholly free to receive life. I desire to love and to bear fruit in my life for you alone.”