The True Vine (John 15:1-8)

June 25, 2023 | Kyle Bjerga


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning. Go ahead and grab your Bibles and turn to John chapter 15. As you grab your Bibles, I’m also gonna ask you to do something that we don’t normally do, I want you to grab out your smartphone. If you have your smartphone, please grab it, you can ignore all the notifications. This is not to, to check what’s going on in the Cubs game or anything like that in London. But I do want to have your phones out for just a minute, we’re gonna do a little exercise together. If you don’t have a smartphone, I’m hoping somebody’s close enough to you can see what we’re going to do here. I had some people that iPhones and Androids do that this week. And it does work. But some phones are older. So this may not work for you. So again, you could look on with somebody else, if you see this. So what I want you to do, if you’re an iPhone user, I want you to go to settings. And I want you to find screen time. Wow. And I want you to click on screentime. If you’re an Android user, you should be able to go to settings as well tap digital well-being or parental controls, it might be the same one and see if a screen pops up. I was not expecting that reaction. But I think you know where I’m going with this. So everyone that has a smartphone and hopefully knew enough that you see this if you don’t hopefully you can you can look out with someone else. This should tell you how much time you have spent on your phone today, this last week or on average for the week. You can also like my phone tells me what apps I use and how long I was on those apps, as well. So if you have that picture in your mind, you can go ahead and turn it off and now put the phone away. So we’re not distracted. The average American, they say based on our spends about two months of their year on their phone. That’s the average American across all ages, anybody with a smartphone. If you add smartwatches into that mix, we start to realize we are very connected to our phones to our technology. So our phones and our watches can keep track of every step. Every breath, what you’re doing while you’re sleeping. It congratulates you when you’ve done well on your fitness goals. It reminds you of things, it talks to you, you can talk back to it. And it knows what you like and what you don’t like. Is there anyone in your life that knows you better than your phone? The better question might be is there anybody that you know better than your phone? Listen to a Professor Daniel Miller says about cell phones. He did this massive study through the University College London. And he says this at the end of the study. So the smartphone is no longer just a device that we use. It’s become the place where we live. So there is a concern with how connected we are to technology. We know this, we’ve talked about this here before but there’s a larger problem for American Christians. Because our stats in our phones aren’t that much different than the rest of the world. But there is something that is a little bit more concerning. Because if we leave our house without our phone, we panic. We need to go back and get it. But American Christians spend 15 minutes or less a day in Bible study and prayer with Jesus. There’s a big difference here in our phones and our time spent cultivating a relationship with Him. And so if we had a daily screen time that would show us how long have you spent cultivating your relationship with Jesus today or this week? Or on average? What is it for a week? What would it say? Because a lot of us have questions like why am I not growing spiritually? And a lot of times we need to look at this as possibly the reason the Scripture is clear that our spiritual growth is directly related to our communion with Jesus, our intimacy with Him. And part of that spiritual growth is called bearing fruit. What does it mean to bear fruit? We’re gonna talk a lot about fruit today. The fruit is the evidence that shows that you are walking with Jesus. Does your phone know you love Jesus? That’s a fair question ask. Does your phone know that you love Jesus because it knows everything else about you. I believe every Christian here wants to bear fruit. And God wants us to bear fruit. He wants to produce fruit in us that’s what he is about. And so our main idea this morning you’ll see there in your notes is this a faithful life is a fruitful life. A faithful life is a fruitful life. So the question we need to ask ourselves today in our passage is am I bearing fruit? Am I bearing fruit now we’re going to jump around in the text today. Hey, so I want to start just by reading chapter 15, one through eight. That’s where we’re going to be. But since we’re gonna go back and forth here, I just want to read it all. And then we’re going to look at this metaphor that Jesus gives us. And we’re looking at three main players in this metaphor. We’re looking at the vine, we’re going to look at the gardener. And we’re going to look at the branches. But let’s read chapter 15, one through eight. 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, 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, I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I knew you will bear much fruit apart from me, you could do nothing. If you do not remain me You are like a branch that is thrown away and withers, such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. So let’s focus in here for a minute on the vine. But we’re in here in John chapter 15. So we need to find ourselves within the whole gospel to understand what’s going on. So Jesus is just hours away from his arrest, his trial and his death. They’ve just completed the Lord’s Supper. And so in John 14 through 17, we get this farewell discourse. These are the last words of Jesus before he goes to his death. The last words with his followers, his disciples. And we were in this last week in our if statement, John 14, verse six, and the way the truth and the life. And so not long after that we read these words in John 15. So the vine, Jesus calls himself a vine in verse one and verse five. In verse one, though, he says he is the true vine. So the vine metaphor could be easily missed by us. We don’t live in an agrarian society. We don’t think about this a whole lot. But the disciples would have immediately known what Jesus was teaching. Because Jesus always took these things that they were familiar with in order to make a point in his teaching. So they would have a good understanding of a vine dresser, or a gardener, and how they would care for the vine for the grapes. So they would understand this truth, we’re gonna have to press in at a few different places this morning, because it’s not as immediate to us, we don’t understand it as much as they did. Before we get there, we also need to see the significance of what Jesus is saying, in calling himself the true vine. He is saying there is a false vine, or a failing vine. And that failing vine or that false vine is the people of Israel. Throughout the Old Testament, the people of Israel are referred to as a vine or a vineyard. But we find that this vineyard is not producing good fruit. Last year, in the summer, actually in June, we’re in a series through Isaiah one through five in the title, that sermon series was unfruitful. And so I want to just draw our attention to Isaiah chapter five. As he says, I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard. my loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choices, vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a wine press as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel. And the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed for righteousness, but heard cries of distress. And this is just one example of many where we see that Israel as God’s vineyard has failed. And so Jesus is saying, I am the true vine. I’m the one I am, I’m the one who’s going to bear the fruit that my father wants that the gardener has been looking for. So where Israel has failed, Jesus has succeeded. And he is a healthy vine produces exactly what God wants with the Israelites were supposed to produce fruit that would be seen by the entire world and would bring glory to God. So we see here in this metaphor, that the vine is the source of life. We’ve already talked about that with Jesus in this series. He’s the resurrection and the life he’s the Way the Truth and the Life. And again here he says, I am the source of life for the branches to be healthy. The vine needs to be healthy. And we see Jesus the perfect vine is healthy. Now it’s interesting in verse five, Jesus says something that catches us off guard rubs us the wrong way. He says if you do not remain sorry, apart from me, you can do nothing.
Apart from the vine, we could do nothing. That’s a pretty big statement to make, especially in a culture like ours. Because our culture says you could do anything that you put your mind to. Anything that you want, you can be whatever you want, you can make your own way. It’s all about us. When Jesus is apart from me, you can do nothing. Now of Jesus here with his disciples, is clearly trying to get deeper into the spiritual life of his disciples and us. But there is a physical reality here as well. And so I just want to mention this, because anybody that’s here today, whether you’re questioning whether there’s God, you know who this God is, for all of us here and around the world, there is something that is true. And that is, we literally cannot do anything apart from Jesus. Without him sustaining us and giving us each breath and heartbeat, we would not be here. So quite literally, apart from Him, we could not do anything. We would not be alive. That’s true of everyone. Regardless, if you call on the name of Jesus, you believe who he is; he’s still keeping you alive. That is the sustaining power of Jesus. So that’s true, physically, the physical reality. But Jesus is talking more deeply here in the spiritual life of his followers. So he says, apart from you could do nothing. So what he’s saying is apart from me, you cannot save yourself. Apart from me, you cannot bear fruit for God. These are things that you cannot do if I am not divine if you’re not drawing that from me. So there is no fruit unless we are connected to him. And we could do a lot of religious things, a lot of really good things in life. But apart from the life of Jesus running through us and motivating us, it isn’t life-giving. And it’s certainly not fruit-bearing, or at least the fruit that God wants in our life. So spiritually, in order to grow in Christ’s likeness, we need Christ. We will not grow in Christ’s likeness. Without him, it seems obvious, but how many of us have slipped into trying to make this happen? To make myself like Jesus without actually drawing from his life and what he’s given to us? So if you do leave your cell phone at home, how does your day go? How connected are you to your family, your friends, and all the things you normally check on there? If you leave your phone at home, it’s gonna wreck your day. Because you’ve lost your phone, you’ve broken your phone, you’ve waited at the mailbox for that next phone to come. Why? Because it’s missing, there’s something gone, that connection is gone. So apart from having that, you feel disconnected apart from Christ, what are we doing? Apart from him, we can do nothing. We need to be connected to the vine. Now our next character is the gardener. Let’s look at the gardener here in verse one were introduced to him. He’s also we see in Isaiah, chapter five, which I just read, and God is all about bearing fruit. He sets up everything and Isaiah five perfectly for the garden to bear fruit. He clears the way he cares for it, he waters it, he makes sure everything is there, ready to produce. And then here we have this healthy vine as well, a vine that has life flowing through it, extending to the branches. So if you think about it, how can this garden not bear fruit? A perfect gardener who’s prepared everything exactly how it’s supposed to be a perfect vine with life flowing through it. How can it not bear fruit? The only reason is it’s not the gardener’s fault. It’s not the vine’s fault. It’s the branches. It’s the branches. Because if they’re not bearing fruit, they’re not drawing from the vine. They’re not drawing; we’re not drawing from Christ. Remember, a faithful life is a fruitful life. We are faithful to pulling, drawing from Jesus; following him and seeing that fruit in our life. Now, we say up here a lot. It’s not always about the fruit and what you see but about being faithful. So this might seem to contradict some of the things that we say. But let me let me try to explain what’s going on here. When it comes to things like evangelism, discipleship and Christian parenting, and preaching on a Sunday morning, we’re looking for faithfulness. But we cannot make somebody change. We pray for fruit. We want to see that happen but we need to be faithful in that, and that’s part of the fruit is being faithful. And so we are being faithful in that, and we can’t make that person change. We can make them do something different. So what are we talking about here? We’re talking about the fruit that is evidence to others that we are following Jesus and there are all sorts of ways that we display fruit in our life, all sorts of ways that you can be faithful and see fruit producing fruit that others can see, as well. Is there evidence that you are pulling from the life of Jesus in your own life? So that’s what I mean by being faithful and fruitful. It’s that interchange that leads to outward evidence; people say, yes, yes, I see that. It may not mean that there’s conversion or people are maturing in their faith because, again, we’re not responsible for what they do. We’re just responsible for being faithful. But there will be fruit even going in, in sharing the gospel with somebody is a fruit in your life, even if they don’t respond how we want them to. So we want to be faithful. And if we’re faithful, we will see fruit. Now we see these two things working together this perfect garden, this perfect vine, it’s it will be obvious which branches are pulling from the life of Jesus and which are not. So those that are alive and those that are dead. And the gardener is not just about bearing some fruit, he wants even more fruit, more and more, which is where the next part of his job comes in. What is that it’s the cutting off, or the cutting up, the cutting off or the cutting up. So first, let’s look at the cutting off. It’s important for us to see who is being cut off here because while we believe that the Bible teaches all who are apart from Christ, will receive judgment. I think here in this context with who Jesus is talking to, he is speaking to those who appear to be a part of the vine. There are some who will appear that they are following Jesus. But if they stick with him long enough, you start to see more and more that they’re just kind of interested in what he does. They like being around him, maybe he makes them feel good. They get some things from him. We’ve seen this even in this series, and some of the things that we’ve looked at with the I Am statements. But when it comes right down to it, they show that they were never truly a part of him because they never really attached to him. One reason I think this is true is because Judas is the perfect example of this. The Lord’s supper has happened. Judas has left to go betray Jesus, and who has left the 11. So Jesus knows there seems to be somebody who appears to be with me, but who isn’t really attached to me. And so we asked this question, I’m sure you’ve asked this question. I’ve asked this question my own life. How do I know I’m really his? How do I know I’m attached? That Matthew seven is running through our minds? Not everyone who says me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven is that mean? We have to ask, Am I bearing fruit? Because what we see here in the text is the only ones that are cut off, or those who do not bear fruit. That’s what verse six says. And what happens to them is they are thrown away, and they wither. They’re picked up and thrown in the fire and burned, there are only two paths. There are only two, the one that follows Jesus. And as a result of that, that faithful life you will bear fruit or the path that lives apart from Christ. And that path only leads to death. It’s a matter of knowing where am I bearing fruit. So some branches are cut off and others are cut up, this would be for the rest of us. And I would believe the majority of us here. If you’re a Christian faithfully pursuing Jesus, you will bear fruit. And that means you need to expect to be pruned. Pruning is the cutting away of carefully selected parts of the plant of the branch in order to produce more fruit to bring health to the branch. This week I read because I’m not a gardener. This is not my wheelhouse. But I read a little bit about pruning this week. And one of the things This. There’s five Ds that you want to prune, you want to prune the dead, the dying, the damaged, the disfigured and the diseased. That’s what you want to prune off of a branch so that the rest of the branch and the fruit can be produced can be healthy. So everything that fits in those five categories needs to be removed. So when the plants are doing what they’re supposed to and bearing fruit if there’s anything that comes in and hinders that growth, it needs to be pruned so that it can bear even more fruit. Now cutting off and cutting up are both painful. But one is pain that leads to death. And one is pain that leads to life. So the cutting off leads to death; cutting up leads to life. So if you are a Christian who is bearing fruit and because, uh Yes, I see the fruit in my life, God wants more
He’s not contented. Just leave us where we are. He wants more fruit. So he’s going to prune us. So my question is, what’s your pruning story? Because I know many of you have it. What was that point your life where you were hurt, where God was doing something that you didn’t enjoy that you didn’t want to have happen, but you look at the fruit now and you say, if that’s what he was doing, I’m thankful I went through that. What is your pruning story? Some of you are in your pruning story right now. You keep asking God, what are you doing? Why don’t you listen? Are you going to move me out of this situation? Bring something to me. And we have to trust that he is producing more fruit in us. For as painful as the pruning stories are. And I know many of you have them. The fruit is so much sweeter and far better. Now, how does this pruning come? Sometimes, it comes through suffering. I don’t know if many of you are familiar with Dave Furman. But he’s a pastor and an author. And in his early 30s, he started to have severe pain in his arms. So much. So in his 30s, he was unable to hold his kids, he was unable to tie his shoes, he couldn’t type. He can’t put his seatbelt on, because of the pain that’s radiating through his arms at all times. And been through dozens and dozens of surgeries to try to help. And every once in a while, there’s a glimmer of hope. And then it goes right back to the way it was before. So his wife, in her 30s, had to start caring for him, even putting his seatbelt out on the car in front of people that he appears to be fine. So why is his wife putting the seatbelt on? And going through all that embarrassment and suffering. And he said he kept having these sin issues that were coming up, and he just kept blaming the disease. One day, he realized that the Lord was trying to tell him that sin has always been there. It’s always been in your heart. The disease is showing you that it’s there, and I’m trying to get rid of it. I’m trying to prune you and change you in bringing true fruit. And so he needed to destroy the idols in his life. And this is what he says. He said our trials are a time to trust God to use our pain to make us more like Christ. We can fight for joy in our trials because God is working on our hearts, pruning us more into the image of Christ. It may feel like you are being chopped up. But the divine gardener is pruning you. So you bear more fruit in your life than you could ever ask or imagine. Sometimes pruning is the cutting away of sin, relationships, unhealthy relationships, other idols and things that require some discipline from God. But what does God say about his discipline? Look at Hebrews 12. God disciplines us for our good in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. What does that sound like? Pruning, and harvest producing fruit. God loves you enough to discipline you to cut away the things that need to be cut away so that you can produce more and more fruit. And then other times that pruning is cutting away of things that are bad, aren’t sinful, they’re just getting in the way of something better. So this is time. This is where you spend your time. What are you What are you doing with your time and your money? It may not be bad stuff. But is it as good as it could be? Is there something better? Because there are things that will stunt our growth? And so sometimes this pruning comes in? And we need to say yes to Jesus, which means we need to say no to something else. So if there’s something in our life that’s getting in the way of cultivating a relationship with Jesus, we say no to that so that we can say yes to something better and that is painful. It doesn’t always feel good to do that. So my question is, do you wish the Christian life was easier? Do you wish we could go through it without pruning? It was painless. AW Tozer wants this for us as well, but he also understands reality that this isn’t true. So listen to what he says. He says in my creature impatience, I’m often caused to wish that there were some way to bring modern Christians into a deeper spiritual life painlessly by short, easy lessons. Sounds good. But such wishes are vain. No shortcut exists. God has not bowed to our nervous haste, nor embrace the methods of the machine age or we could say the information or digital age. It is well that we accept the hard truth now, the man who had no God must give to him time. He must How no time wasted which is spent in the cultivation of his acquaintance. He must give himself to meditation and prayer hours on end. The Christian life includes pruning so that we can bear fruit. And we need to cultivate this relationship with Jesus. How do we continue to bear fruit? Let’s look at ourselves here in this last section, the branches in this metaphor. Jesus says, I am the vine, you are the branches in verse five. Now, we’ve already seen that the branches can represent true or false disciples, but I want to focus in here on the branches that produce fruit. So what is the fruit? What is the purpose of the fruit? And how can we continue to bear more and more fruit? So first, what is the fruit? In the context here in chapters 14 through 17, with this federal Discourse, Jesus has talked a lot about the evidence of his followers, the evidence that people will see and say, yes, they followed Jesus. So what are some of those things? He talks about obedience to His commands, he talks about love for one another, he talks about mission. And he talks about the work of the Holy Spirit. That’s what he talks about in 14 through 17. This is the evidence this is the fruit of following Jesus. While we have one great example, what the fruit of the Spirit is in Galatians, 522, through 23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, or forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things, there is no law. Are these true of us? Are we seeing these things grow in us? Do people see the difference in our life. But you know what’s interesting here, we get that in Galatians, But Jesus doesn’t tell his disciples exactly what the fruit is, how much of it he wants, and all of that, which I think is a good thing for us. Because the first thing we’re going to start to do is compare to other Christians. Well, they have more fruit than me. That’s not what Jesus is talking about here. Some of us will take longer to produce fruit than others. The point is, are you producing fruit, because if you are, you will be pruned and you will produce more. The other option is a dead branch that’s cut off. So don’t get caught in the well, this is not as much as that person, they’re, they’re bearing fruit, you’re bearing fruit. So he will prune you, and you will bear more and more and more. That’s where we want to be as Christians. And so while he doesn’t lay out exactly all that fruit here, we do see the purpose of the fruit in verse eight. What does he say? This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. What is the purpose, to bring glory to the father, to the gardener. And it proves to others that we are truly his brand and read for us first John to I want to read it again, and listen to it now, after what we’ve read in John 15. Because it’s the same author writing this letter first, John. He says, We know that we’ve come to know Him if we keep His commands. Whoever says I know him, but does not do what He commands is a liar. And the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His Word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him. Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. So what’s the key language here is right at the end there, whoever claims to live in him. That’s the answer and how we continue to bear fruit in our life. As branches, we continue by remaining in him. As we see here, throughout verses one through eight, we remain in Him, your translation might say, abide with him or continue in him or stay with him. I love how JC Ryle explains this idea. So I’m hoping you pick up on one of these things that he uses to describe this idea to remain in Jesus. He says, Abide in me, cling to me. Stick fast to me. Live the life of close and intimate communion with me. Get nearer and nearer to me. Roll every burden on me. Cast your whole weight on me. Never let go you’re hold of me for a moment. That’s what it means to remain in Him to never let go of him for a moment. So Jesus gives us this. The answer to how we actually remain in and look at verse seven. He says if you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.
How do we stay connected? We let Jesus’s words remain with us. You see, it’s very, very simple. We read the Bible. And we pray, because the Bible is God’s word. So when he says, My words must remain you, these are not secretive words. These are the words that John said, I’m going to put in here. He says, so that you might believe and have eternal life. There’s not different words, these are the words. So what Jesus told them, they put down here for us so that we too could come to know and remain in Him. And then we also pray, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. We’ll come back to that. But look at verse three. To get this idea of this word that Jesus has spoken, he says, You are already clean, because the word I’ve spoken to you. So he tells his disciples, you’re already clean. Because of my teaching, his teaching has cleansed his disciples, meaning they are already drawing for the source of life. We’ve seen that even in a series when Jesus looks at his 12. And he says, Do you want to walk away also, when all the other people walked away from Jesus? And Peter’s like, where else would we go? What does he have? He has the keys, the words to eternal life? Where else would we go? And so here we see it again. They’re drawing from his teaching from his words, that is life, he has connected himself to them. And he says, If you want to remain in me continue to follow my words. So that’s why John writes these words for us, because He wants us to know Him and to remain in Him. Now remember, the main question we’re asking it is, am I bearing fruit? So let me talk to a few different groups of people. If you said, No, I am not bearing fruit. There’s no evidence that I’m following Jesus, because you know, you don’t know Jesus. But you, you know that you haven’t connected, you’ve been checking out what this Christian thing is all about. I would encourage you to look at his words, to look at his life. Look at Christians who are bearing fruit, and I would plead with you to attach yourself to the source of life, true, eternal life. Now, if you said, No, I’m not bearing fruit, but you call yourself a Christian. This is where we need to examine ourselves. Before God with a sincere heart, is a question we asked in Journey group before God was sincere heart, am I a Christian? And you need to ask that question. If you say there’s no fruit in my life, I can’t see any fruit, you need to have a hard conversation between you and the Lord. And then pulling in some other people that you really trust, who are bearing fruit in your life to talk to you about it. But if that’s you, you’ve probably been in the church for a while. And so you know what you need to do. We repent, and we turn to the vine to the source of life, knowing that he will save us, He will forgive us, He will change us and He will prune us to bear fruit and then much more fruit. It is true that there are true disciples, some of you are here today. You’re like, I don’t see myself bearing fruit right now. But I know I believe in Jesus I I’ve seen him pruning me and I’ve been bearing fruit for a long time in my life. And it’s true. We have seasons of our life where it’s really hard. There are seasons, but it can’t be season after season after season after season after season. So that that’s that’s something that again, we have to spend time with the Lord examine ourselves to see whether or not we are in the faith. And I would say grab some other brothers and sisters who you trust, who know your life, who can speak encouragement to you if you need it, or rebuke in your life if you need it. And I’m hoping that most of us said yes, I am bearing fruit. How do we continue to bear fruits, we don’t go through those dry seasons. This is where the means of grace come in. I said it’s simple. It’s been in God’s word. And it’s praying, we must listen to the words of Jesus and obey them. And when we pray the words of God, from his word, pray the words of Jesus. Because what we see in John 17, just a couple chapters later is Jesus lays out all these prayers for his disciples, and we get to see them as well. And he’s leaving us as example the types of things we should be praying for the things that God the Father, He says, will answer. So we are in His Word, and then we pray. And what happens is, we start to realize that our hearts and our minds are being formed by the very words of Jesus. And so when we pray what we wish, we’re wishing for the same things as Jesus. That’s what that means. So Jesus says, Yeah, pray whatever you wish, as long as you’re formed by me, and my words, what I’ve said what I’ve done, and I guarantee your prayers will be my prayers. And the father always answers these prayers for your good and for His glory, a couple other groups that I just want to mention something to is families, families, if you have kids, if your family is pursuing Jesus, you have a front row seat to fruit bearing. You get to see this happen more than anyone else in your home. Are you practicing family worship? Because Sunday morning cannot be the only time that you attach to the vine. That’s not how it works. Are you seeing this over and over day in and day out in your home? Are you encouraging one another? When you see fruits? When you see God and the evidence of Jesus in their life? Are you encouraging one another in that? are you pointing them back to Jesus? Are you encouraging your spouse as you see the fruit in their life? So I’d encourage families continue to encourage one another in this, when you see that fruit, and then church, we are a family as well. So we’ll be the next who get to see this fruit in each other’s life. And we have a responsibility in the church if someone is not bearing fruit, May it never be because of a lack of discipleship on our part. mean, I hope it’s never said somebody walks away because we failed. Because we didn’t because guess what, this is a vineyard. We are all branches attached to one vine. The majority of the Christian life has to be lived together. private worship is important. It is but the majority of our Christian life has to be lived alongside other believers are easier and easier for these branches to wither. We must take it seriously to disciple and make sure nobody walks away. So we need to fulfill our responsibility there. Listen to what John Stott says. He says to remain or Biden Christ portrays a tireless, relentless pursuit of him. In particular, we need to be diligent in our use of the means of grace to spend time each day seeking Christ through prayer and Bible reading. And then what does he say he moves into the public worship, and to come each Sunday to worship and regularly to the Lord’s table. It is in these ways that we actively pursue Christ and learn to abide in him. The more disciplined we are in set times the devotion, the more easier it becomes to live the rest of the time in Christ, united to him and join his presence and drawing out his life and power. So you might expect me to say, in closing to ditch your phone, I know that screen time, but I’m not gonna say that. Because I don’t know what was on your screen time. I don’t know what time you spent on what apps but what I want to encourage you to do is you’re already connected. So use your phone to connect to Jesus. More and more. Maybe the apps that you’ve seen in all the time spent be Bible reading apps and prayer apps and texting someone to encourage them in their faith. Let’s use them because we’re already connected. So let’s use that connection towards cultivating our relationship with Jesus. Because we can listen to His word. We can pray, we can do all those different things on our device. So let’s faithfully pursue Jesus through all sorts of means. And then we’ll get to see the fruit that he produces in us. And it’s going to be a good fruit and he’s going to prune us again and we’re gonna see more fruit. It’s all for His glory. And it’s others will see that we believe in Jesus, we follow Jesus and hopefully, they’ll want to touch their lives the vine as well. Let’s pray.
Jeremiah, Father, we thank you for giving us the vine for sending your son Jesus Christ, the source of life. To not only save us, but then to be there for us to attach ourselves to Him. As he has grabbed us we remain in Him by following his words, Lord, help us to follow his words each and every day. Help us to do this for the motivation that we want to see you receive more glory and worship. We want to have others look at our lives as a yes they believe in Jesus and I want that source of life as well. Lord, we know that apart from you, we can do nothing to save ourselves. Nothing to bear fruit. But help us to focus Lord on what you have given us in our life. So that we can grow, we can mature we can produce fruit, and even more fruit. Jesus, we love you Do we pray this in Your name amen


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