INTIMACY AS A BELOVED BRANCH:

 

 

“I (JESUS) AM THE TRUE VINE, AND MY FATHER IS THE GARDENER. HE CUTS OFF EVERY BRANCH IN ME THAT BEARS NO FRUIT, JOHN 15:1-2

 

As a branch, I have a responsibility to bear fruit. If I don’t, God has the responsibility to get rid of me. Now out of the goodness of His heart He may give me a few seasons to start producing, but sooner or later, no fruit, no branch. 

 

What is this “fruit”? 

 

According to Strong’s, it’s: 

1. Literal Fruit. - The fruit of the trees, vines, of the fields

 

2. That which originates or comes from something, an effect, result 

work, act, deed

 

 

The “Fruit” of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Gal 5:22-23

 

The fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth. Eph 5:9

 

The fruit of holiness. Rom 6:22

The fruit of wisdom Prov 10:31

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Matt 3:8

 

 

By their fruit you will recognize them. Matt 7:16

 

 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Matthew 21:43

 

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9 & 10  

 

 

We also know that we are to do “good works” For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10. 

But these “good works” done without the fruit of the Spirit are worthless as they are done in the flesh. 

 

Fruit of schemes

Fruit of your labor

Fruit for death

 

It is not my responsibility to prune others, it is God’s.

 

 

WHILE EVERY BRANCH THAT DOES BEAR FRUIT HE PRUNES SO THAT IT WILL BE EVEN MORE FRUITFUL. JOHN 15:2

 

I can count on Father God to do what’s necessary for me to bear fruit. The desire of His heart is for me to bear much fruit. God I give you permission to prune me as You see necessary for me to be who You created me to be.

 

YOU ARE ALREADY CLEAN (PRUNED) BECAUSE OF THE WORD I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU. JOHN 15:3

 

As I stay close enough to Jesus to hear Him and obey Him, I stay clean before  Him.

 

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. JOHN 15:4

 

I choose to stay connected to Jesus, He is my lifeline. My nutrition for life comes from Him. He is in me, providing me with everything I need to bear fruit.  Even a day disconnected from my Jesus and I will start to wilt. If this continues my fruit will die and I will die.  

 

“Remain” What does that look like? The Lord brought to my mind how it is when parents bring home their first baby. That baby “remains” in their thoughts 24/7. These days most people have baby monitors so they can go throughout their day without missing a single chirp from their beloved baby. Parents are attentive, their hearing is heightened to hear every sound, so that when they are needed they can respond quickly. And they are quick to respond, even at 2am in the morning. 

 

I’ve never though of a scenario where Jesus would represent a baby before. But think about it. If we remained in Jesus as we would our newborn baby, what would that would look like? No matter how tired we get, our baby comes first. And as we spend time with our baby we are quick to tell others of all the things he or she is doing. We delight in everything that baby does. We keep baby books (journals) of every new development, just so we won’t forget.

 

 

 I AM THE VINE; YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. IF YOU REMAIN IN ME AND I IN YOU, YOU WILL BEAR MUCH FRUIT; APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING. JOHN 15:5

 

The choice is mine. If I don’t see the fruit I desire in my life, I need to check my whereabouts. Is He still my best friend, my lover, the one I run to first with good news or bad news?

 

IF YOU DO NOT REMAIN IN ME, YOU ARE LIKE A BRANCH THAT IS THROWN AWAY AND WITHERS; SUCH BRANCHES ARE PICKED UP, THROWN INTO THE FIRE AND BURNED. JOHN 15:6

 

Therefore: I know the consequences of not remaining in Jesus, and they are not worth it.

 

IF YOU REMAIN IN ME AND MY WORDS REMAIN IN YOU, ASK WHATEVER YOU WISH, AND IT WILL BE DONE FOR YOU. JOHN 15:7

 

Therefore: Jesus is now asking one more thing from me. He wants His words to remain in me. What words are these? Everything He had been speaking about to His disciples, His friends. We know those words from reading the Bible. But He also speaks to us today. Growing in intimacy can only come when we really know the heart of Jesus. He says, “Ask whatever you wish, and it will done for you.” Let’s remember this phrase is sandwiched between the “remain in Me”, and the “bearing of fruit”. It’s not about us getting everything we want.

 

THIS IS TO MY FATHER’S GLORY, THAT YOU BEAR MUCH FRUIT, SHOWING YOURSELVES TO BE MY DISCIPLES. JOHN 15:8

 

Therefore: The desire of my heart is to bear much fruit to bring God glory. Not myself, not my ministry, not my church, but God

 

AS THE FATHER HAS LOVED ME, SO HAVE I LOVED YOU.  NOW REMAIN IN MY LOVE. JOHN 15:9

 

Therefore: I am to love others as Jesus loves me, and as the Father loves Him.  To do this I must get to know how each One loves. There is absolutely no need to ever feel unloved by Jesus Christ or Father God.

 

IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDS, YOU WILL REMAIN IN MY LOVE, JUST AS I HAVE KEPT MY FATHER’S COMMANDS AND REMAIN IN HIS LOVE. JOHN 15:10

 

Jesus now tells me how I can remain in His love, by example. Just as He obeyed His father, I will obey Him. Jesus’ greatest command was for me to love, myself and others. It seems so simple, but it is not. Love looks like something. What does it look like in my life, in yours?

To remain in that kind of love in this day and age takes continued awareness of my thoughts, motives and actions. It takes continued awareness that I am in Christ Jesus and His love, and I never plan on being out of it. 

 

I HAVE TOLD YOU THIS SO THAT MY JOY MAY BE IN YOU AND THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE COMPLETE. JOHN 15:11

 

Now Jesus is adding joy to the mix. He wants His joy to be in me. He wants my joy to be complete. What would life look like if I walked in complete joy 24/7? That is the desire of God’s heart, and available to me as I remain in Christ Jesus. “For the joy set before Him Jesus endured the cross.” Hebrews 12:2. Therefore, I can endure anything with the complete joy of Jesus inside me. So when I feel like joy is slipping away from me, I will snuggle up with Jesus and allow His joy to pour into me.

 

MY COMMAND IS THIS: LOVE EACH OTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. JOHN 15:12

 

There are 613 Old Testament commands, and 1050 New Testament Commands. Yet they can all be summed up in this: I must love others as Jesus loves me. How does Jesus love me? If I don’t know, then how will I know how to love others? If I only read about how Jesus loves me, I am missing out on His complete love. I must experience it first hand, today. So that today, I can love others. Jesus, make me aware of how You love me, so I can love others.

 

GREATER LOVE HAS NO ONE THAN THIS: TO LAY DOWN ONE’S LIFE FOR ONE’S FRIENDS. JOHN 15:13

 

“Lay down” does not mean, “to die”. It can include that, but it is so much more. It’s to surrender my selfishness, my desires, my needs.

 

YOU ARE MY FRIENDS IF YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND. JOHN 15:14

 

Only Jesus can get away with this statement. I once overheard a neighbor boy say to my son, “If you don’t do what I say, I won’t be your friend.” I was so proud of my son when he said, “Then I won’t be your friend.”

 

Oh, but what an honor to be a friend of Jesus.

 

I NO LONGER CALL YOU SERVANTS, BECAUSE A SERVANT DOES NOT KNOW HIS MASTER’S BUSINESS. INSTEAD, I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS, FOR EVERYTHING THAT I LEARNED FROM MY FATHER I HAVE MADE KNOWN TO YOU. JOHN 15:15

 

As a friend I know the Father’s business. How do I know? Intimacy, relationship, spending time discussing His business. Do I really know everything Jesus learned from Father God? Not yet, I’m sure.

 

YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU AND APPOINTED YOU SO THAT YOU MIGHT GO AND BEAR FRUIT—FRUIT THAT WILL LAST—AND SO THAT WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME THE FATHER WILL GIVE YOU. JOHN 15:16

 

Jesus chose me. He chose me with the purpose of bearing fruit that would last, or remain. That means there should not be dormant months without fruit.  Anything I ask in Jesus name for the purpose of bearing lasting fruit I will receive. I don’t have to beg God for it, I just ask and it’s mine.

 

 

 

THIS IS MY COMMAND: LOVE EACH OTHER. JOHN 15:17