Abiding in the Vine

Posted by Dion Todd January 23rd, 2017 2,761 Views 0 Comments

Abiding In The Vine

Abiding in the Vine from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

Transcript: Today I want to talk about grape vines, specifically about “A Grape Vine named Jesus.” I am going to be reading from John chapter 15 beginning in verse 1, if you want to take your bible and follow along, go ahead and turn there.

This week while praying about what to speak about, I kept hearing “Vine” and “Abide in the Vine.” Now when the Lord speaks to me like this, often it is about me, but maybe you can relate to some of it. I began to research and study the subject as it is something that I never gave a lot of thought. This will be a no frills message and there is nothing deep here, just a cautious course correction that we should all be wary of when we begin to drift.

Now on to our scripture:

Jesus told His disciples in John 15:1 (NKJV): “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 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. 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 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.

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.

Jesus is pictured as a life giving grape vine that grows up from the ground. He is the main trunk that all the branches connect to. We are the branches on the Vine, and our Heavenly Father is the Vinedresser who prunes and trims it.

In order to be a healthy branch, we need to stay connected to the main trunk of the Vine, that is Jesus. When we are connected to Him, we are also connected to each other through Him. When we are cut off from the Vine, we begin to wilt and dry up. A branch that is cut from a grape vine can continue to produce green leaves for a while and no one would know the difference, but it will not produce any fruit, and it will eventually wither and die.

It is crucial that we stay connected to Jesus in order to be fruitful.

Here are some reasons why:

* Jesus said that branches that did not produce fruit would be taken away by the Father. Now there are many ways to interpret this to make it less painful, and they all sound great, but I can’t help but remember that Judas Iscariot was one of Jesus’ inner twelve who walked with Jesus for three years, carried the money bag, ate at the last supper, and then he was cut off. Jesus said that Judas would have been better off if he had not been born, so whatever happened to him must have been bad.

* Branches that do produce fruit will be pruned so that they will produce even more. To me that is the things that God allows to happen in our lives. He has pruned me back many times. It is painful, it is humbling, and sometimes embarrassing, to be taken down a notch. Also, anytime that you ever feel embarrassed, know that this is linked directly to your pride, for humility is never embarrassed.

* Jesus told the disciples that they were clean because of the word that He had spoken to them. They were washed by hearing, and obeying His words. This is how we become clean, by hearing and obeying. See Judas heard the same words that the rest of the disciples heard, but for some reason, he did not become clean.

At the last supper, there was no servant present so Jesus took off His robe, wrapped a towel around Himself and began to wash their feet. When He came to Peter in John 13:6, Peter tried to stop Him. It reads:

“And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” John 13:6–11 NKJV.

They had all experienced the same miracles, the same teachings, and ate the same food, but there was a difference about them on the inside that only Jesus knew about.

Isaiah told us in chapter 1 verse 19: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.”

James told us in chapter 1 verse 22: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:22–25 NKJV).

James said that if we heard the word, and didn’t do it, that we were deceiving ourselves. Pretending that there is no consequences to our behavior is deception.

* Unless we abide in Jesus, we can bear no fruit in our lives. Jesus said that if we abide in Him, and He in us, then we will bear much fruit. Without Him, we can do nothing. If we abide in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and let His word change us, then we will live off the good of the land. We will have healing, health, and salvation. He will fill us with good things.

* Jesus said that if we abide in Him, and His words abide in us, then we will ask whatever we desire and it will be done for us. That is a powerful statement:
- If we abide in Him,
- and His words abide in us,
- then we will ask whatever we desire
- and it will be done.

Is that a key to answered prayers? Absolutely. If You are willing, and obedient, then you will eat the good of the land.

What is Abiding?

Being that abiding in Jesus is so important, what exactly does that word mean? The greek word used here is “Meno” meaning: To remain, to stay, to reside, to endure, to wait. It occurs about 120 times in the New Testament and is mostly translated as “Abide, Remain, and Stay.”

Now Jesus was speaking directly to His disciples after the last supper when He said this, right before He was arrested. Judas had already left to betray Him and this was one of the last things that He would get to tell them, so we should pay attention.

Jesus told Peter, James, John and the other disciples that were left, to abide, to remain, to stay in Him. Now call me crazy, but if they had no choice in the matter, why would He have told them that? I believe that they had a choice to continue on with Jesus, or to walk away. I believe that we have a choice to stay with Jesus, to obey His word and let Him transform us, or to walk away.

The prodigal son was free to leave His father’s house and no one stopped him. I can tell you from personal experience that you can walk away from Jesus, and then begin to dry up just like a dead branch. Everything in your life will begin to lose its color, and your joy will be gone. Then you will wonder what happened… you left the vine, that is what happened.

It comes down to those that are serious about Jesus, and those that are not. Judas chose to walk away while Peter and the others stayed with Jesus. They went to the same places, paddled in the same boats, ate the same food, and heard the same teachings, you could not tell them apart until the night of Jesus’ arrest. Then they were suddenly found to be on different teams.

Jesus said in verse 11: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

In His presence, there is fullness of joy, but when you cut yourself off from Him, it begins to leave. Judas’ life ended in sadness, while the other apostles were filled with joy and rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus. Their joy did not depend on their circumstances being pleasant. Their joy came from being connected to the Vine named Jesus.

Jesus’ words abide in us when we know what He said and did, and when we allow those words and actions to affect the way that we live. We live out His words.

When you are in the check out line and they give you too much change, you give it back because we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. You tell the truth, even when it hurts, because we are to love the truth, and the truth will set us free.

You bite your tongue and respond lovingly to your neighbor, who you would like to slap, because blessed are the peacemakers. When given the chance to get even with an enemy, you choose to show them mercy, because He told us that the merciful will be shown mercy. When we act like this, we act like Jesus.

By reading, listening, and memorizing scripture, we take God’s Word into us. By obeying it, we demonstrate that His word abides in us:

* From Jesus’ actions and teachings, we learn what to do.
* From His responses, we learn how we should respond.
* From His compassion, we learn that we should love others.
* From His obedience, we learn how we should submit to the Father.
* From His self-control, we learn how to stay pure and strong.

Jesus was our example. A real man, who was tempted in all ways just like us, yet without sin. He is the one true Vine and if we can remain connected to Him, then everything else will fall into place.

The branches merely do their part. It is the main trunk of the Vine that draws the water and nutrients up from the ground and supplies the needs of all the branches. Trying to do anything apart from the Vine will end in frustration. Jesus said: “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” Let us make it a priority to stay connected to the Vine.

Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we pray you to forgive our lack of enthusiasm. We pray you to forgive us for our coldness. We pray you to forgive us for loving you so little and serving you so poorly. O God, help us to reconsecrate ourselves to you and your service.

May the Spirit that came upon Gideon and Joshua and Elijah, and that came on the day of Pentecost, come upon us here. O Spirit of the living God, fall upon us here, and may our hearts be all on fire for the Son of God. And may we be willing to lay aside our dignity and position and standing, and go forth into the vineyard and work for you.

O Spirit of God, come upon us and give us power to work for Christ; power to preach the Gospel, power to tell the story of the Cross. We ask it all in the name of your beloved Son Jesus. Amen.

~ Prayer by: Dwight L. Moody

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