“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.” John 15:5 NKJV
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.
If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading we will re-read the same passage in the Gospel of John, chapter 15 at verse 1 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
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 [a]takes away; and every branch that 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 throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you[b] will 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.
John 15:1-8 NKJV
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Luke 4:8 KJV
Although I could say every day “This is one of my favorite passages!”, this IS one of my favorites! But if you look in my Bible all of John is well marked, well studied and well loved – along with the three letters from John. But in my Bible, in the margin, next to this passage, I wrote: “I just want to heal from the corrupted broken love given to me by this world and learn GOD, because God is LOVE.”
I know what I was thinking when I wrote it. It actually goes with one of the passages from last week. I had just run out of room and so it ended up next to today’s reading. And it seemingly does not tie into today’s reading about abiding in the vine. BUT yet it does. SO we are going to go with it. Even if I am only speaking to ME.
1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
I entered a trying period, which I not only have been going through, but have shared with you so I can be an example as well as giving you the ability to receive the blessing when God finishes what He has started – we can ALL learn from this! Early on I compared it to pruning. These trials are in part, God cutting the excess, dead, and unfruitful pieces of my life off from me.
I did the same thing to my lilac tree. Then it grew some small but beautiful flowers. However, the rains came, and lasted too long, and the flowering season was shortened. And the flowers began to die. In order for it to flower again, it must be pruned. Every branch I want to see a flower on, must be cut. EVERY. So I clipped and pruned and cut back and touched just about every branch, in hopes that this coming spring I will see LOTS of flowers! Then it developed black spots and I learned it was being attacked by a bacteria and had a disease called Lilac Blight. The cure? More pruning! Even though the lilac did nothing wrong and produced branches and abided in the good soil, the rain caused blight and the attack mean more pruning. Then the poor plant had to struggle through a harsh winter without enough snow to protect the ground and roots and harsh winds and ice. I look at it frozen and sad looking and I know it will need more pruning this spring if it is going to survive, and that it probably will not flower – but survival will be enough, this year.
Part of me thinks if I dig it up and bring it inside and protect it, it will do better – but the shock of transplanting would kill it. It must abide in the good soil with the good sunlight.
As I struggle with why am I going through what I am going through and I grow weary of the constant healing and growth and looking like a mess to on looking eyes – and comments about my “lack”. I see myself and the book of Job in my Lilac bush. The plant, myself, and Job – it is not about us and we did nothing wrong. External things attacked and we needed pruning anyway, and it just stinks that it happens one after another for such an extended period.
I have had visit from Job’s friends, seemingly understanding until they open their mouths and accuse. I have questioned with God: “Have I done something Wrong?” I have searched my heart, my house, my life for open doors for attacks as well. I have done all I can and exhausted myself, just to collapse and hear his soft voice say – it is not by works. And every time I come and go I see this lilac and it’s struggles and I stop and speak to it with compassion, saying: me too.
“3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”
I was clean and good and planted – abiding in the vine; like my lilac and like Job.
“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.”
John uses the word abide again in 1 John 4:12-19:
“12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.”
Abiding in God is abiding in the branch and abiding in love between us and God, confession and love for others. And THIS IS POWERFUL – Love destroying fear and the promise of bearing fruit!
“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.”
When I clip a branch from my lilac, it dies. It can do nothing. It cannot live except attached and abiding in the trunk and roots and soil where it is. If I clip a branch the part removed will not ever flower again; however the part remaining, abiding, and attached will not just flower, but spring forth two or more flowering shoots from the place where it was cut.
“6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
Back in the first century they were usually burned as a fuel source. BUT if they had blight, they were burned out in the fields as soon as they were dry enough to burn. Blight must be cut off and destroyed or it will spread. That in itself is a sermon!
So between today’s reading and the LOVE and power over fear type of abiding from 1 John 4 – I think we get an even deeper understanding of the word abide.
But we can go one deeper. The word abide also means to dwell. And we just saw the word dwell and dwellings and discussed where God lives and the symbol of the temple and the Body of believers (individually an corporately) and God dwelling and abiding in us and we in Him.
AND THEN one final step deeper – we also recent read about Jesus dwelling in the Father and the Father in the Son. SO then if we ask the son to dwell in us within Him comes the Father – who also wishes to dwell in us in the since of mansioning.
And at this point if it feels like what they are saying is that we are all one big melting pot and it is becoming hard to see where one ends and the next begins – YOU ARE RIGHT! Except… we first must be pruned of things that cannot melt with God. Unholy things that Holiness cannot touch.
I am not speaking of getting clean before salvation. I am talking about being saved, already clean and now pruned and sanctified for a deeper more intimate relationship that produces fruit – that is pregnant with the expectancy of birthing God’s will in our lives!
“7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
In this melted together state your will and desire is His will! You will ask for it to birth fruit and it will.
“8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Now, my lilac probably will not flower this year. It had to go through a lot. Now it must heal for a season and then be pruned again so next season it will bear a lot of flowers! It is sometimes a long process from the first sharp painful blade, clip, to the birth of fruit. Hang in there!
Please join us tomorrow as we continue to discuss the Book of John.
I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862
Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
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