Have you ever been in a situation where you felt disconnected? Sometimes being disconnected is a good thing and sometimes it is not. I have been in situations where I was very much part of a good group and felt connected, loved and supported. I have also been in situations where I felt disconnected – not loved and not supported.
My church family is very important to me. In the past year, for many different reasons, my attendance has been sporadic. I have missed several weeks in a row here and there for a variety of reasons. When I miss 2 or more weeks in a row I feel disconnected. I love them and I know they love me but I need to be there regularly to feel closely connected with them.
Our Passage Today:
Last time, we talked about verses 1 and 2 and how a vinedresser takes care of a vine and its branches. Today, we will discuss verses 3 and 4.
John 15:1-4 (focusing on 3 & 4) NIV
“I am the true vine and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will 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.”
He Is With Us
Even more than with my church family, I need to stay connected with Jesus Christ. The wonderful thing about that is we really do not have to go anywhere to do that because He is with us. We just need to pick up our Bibles and read, talk to Him(pray), think about His goodness…
There are so many ways to connect with Him but the absolute most necessary ways are in His Word and in prayer. We must be in His Word and spend time talking to Him.
Let’s go to our Passage:
“You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”
Jesus was speaking to His 11 disciples here in the Book of John. Judas had left the group to go out and follow through with his plan to betray Jesus. Jesus was not his Lord. So, the dear ones that Jesus was talking to when He said this, were men who had given their lives to Him. They were believers so their hearts had been made clean. They were “Christ Followers”. That being said, as we apply this we can know that it is directed at those whose faith is in Jesus Christ.
“Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.”
Think about how after a windstorm, you will see tree branches laying around on the ground. Right after the storm, they will still be lush and green. They look just fine, right? But in a few days, they will be dead and brown. They were actually already dead when you saw them the first time. It just did not show yet, huh? They have been disconnected from their life source. You may even be able to prolong the green-ness but they are dead. Artificial life support can only go so far when the branch has been disconnected from its life source.
Finishing Verse 4
“Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.”
When we remain in Him, His life flows into us. He helps us to do what He wants us to do for His glory. He helps us bear fruit but if we are disconnected, whatever fruit we seem to bear will be artificial just like those green leaves on that dead tree branch.
How Can We Apply This?
How can we remain in Him and how is it that we stay connected moment by moment?
Well, the first thing is to make sure that you have been “made clean”. Does your heart belong to Christ? Is your faith for salvation in Him alone? If you want to talk to me about this, send me a comment here (I will keep it private.) or Private Message me on Facebook.
We need to spend time with God every day. We need to seek Him in His Word and talk to Him in prayer. It is so important that we do both! We get to know God in His Word. He has given us His Word for that purpose and that is where He will reveal Himself to us. That is where we will get to know Him as He really is – His character, His holiness, His compassion, His beauty, His greatness…
Along with seeking to know God in His Word and prayer, we need to be in a solid church where the focus is God’s glory and our knowing Him through His Word.
Okay, what are some other ways you spend time growing in your relationship with the Lord?
Lord, Thank You for loving us and drawing us to You. Help us to desire to know You and be connected to You. Please help us to take this life seriously and see that You have things for us to do for Your glory. Help us be what You want us to be and help us to glorify You with all we do and all we are. May we bear much fruit for Your glory! In Jesus precious name, I pray. Amen.
Go Deeper Today: