Today is the last part of the message, “Called to Bear Fruit, Abundantly”
For the past week, we have been studying John 15:1-8. I mentioned that the fruit that we were to bear refers to a thought, an attitude, behavior or good works. The fruit that we are to bear should being glory to God and help others to believe in Him, through our actions.
First thing must happen before fruit bearing is that we must be lifted up from dirt. God does this through disciplining us! Discipline is what happens when our loving Father steps in our lives to lift us away from our destructive and unfruitful activities.
Secondly, we must be pruned. Discipline removes our sin while pruning changes our priorities.
Today we are going to talk about the third thing that must take place before bearing fruit:
III. WE MUST REMAIN CONNECTED TO GOD
“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. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~ John 15: 4-5 (NLT).
Only by remaining in Him can you enjoy the most rewarding friendship with God and experience the greatest abundance for His glory. To remain means to stay closely connected.
How important is it to remain in Him? It must be very important since Jesus used the word “remain” 8 times through John 15: 1-8 (NIV). Which Jesus emphasizes that the most important thing in the life of His disciples is their relationship with Him. This must be their priority.
To remain in the vine means more of God in our life, more of Him in our activities, thoughts, and desire, to stay closer to God every minute of our life. We must do two things in order for us to remain in the vine:
Ø We must deepen the quality of our devoted time for God. Commune with the Lord during the prime of your day. Meditate on His words. Talk and listen to God as a person.
Ø We must broaden our devoted time, having an all-day attentiveness to His presence.
The benefits of remaining in the vine…
Ø It helps us to sense the leading of the Lord. We learn to recognize God’s “still small voice” and become familiar with His ways.
Ø It helps us to become strong spiritually. It gives us the “rest” we need. If we remain connected with the Lord we are filled with Spirit and power. And when we spend intimate time with our Savior, we are strengthened and refreshed to do his work.
Ø Our prayers will be answered (v. 7-8).
The will of the Lord of the Harvest for each of us is to be fruitful in every aspect of our lives. If you are in the season of discipline, please don’t harden your heart. Allow the Lord to lift you up and give you new meaning in your life. Repent and turn from every thing that is sinful and damaging. If you are in the season of pruning, hold on to God. Surrender to Him every thing. The Lord knows what is best for you.
Remain in the Lord and stay connected to Him. ◊