John 15:1-11 You never have to walk alone
A. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
B. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 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.
C. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. John 15:1-11
Jesus used the analogy of the vine to illustrate the importance of dependence on the Holy Spirit in big or small endeavors of life. As it is basic human instinct to make decisions apart from the divine wisdom of God and to depend solely on our own ability. Jesus stressed the dangers of living life apart from His word and love. Challenges of life would either make us stronger and godlier or it could destroy us if we do not depend on God.
A. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine.” The only way to bear fruit is to be connected with the vine. A branch is not the source but a recipient of nourishment from the vine. Hence, it can never bear fruit if it is separated from the vine. Similarly, believers must remain connected with Jesus, otherwise we cannot express the goodness of God through our works. Any branch that does not remain connected to the vine will naturally dry up because of the lack of moisture and nutrients. And in the end, the branch dries up and dies.
B. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you.” What does it mean by being connected with the vine? As the branch receives nourishment from the vine, we let the truth and the love of Christ permeate our value system and spirit. Truth shows us the way to the Kingdom and abundant living. But love gives us the strength to walk in the truth. Truth and love must always operate together: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.” A person who knows the truth but without God’s love, he will be stifled by fear and will not be able to walk in the truth. He will be stumbled by the bondages of bitterness, injustice, hopelessness and guilt. On the other hand, a person who knows God’s sacrificial love but rejects the truth will be deceived and can never enter God’s Kingdom. A person who commits to the way of truth and constantly depend on God’s grace will exuberate the goodness of God in his life and whatever he asks in prayer, God will do for him.
C. “My joy may be in you,…” The greatest kind of joy comes when one has persevered against temptations to do God’s will. Jesus was faced with indescribable suffering and sorrow just days before the cross. Yet He said, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you.” What kind of joy did Jesus experience on that day? I believe it is the joy of accomplishing God’s mission.
1. The posture of humility brings us closer to the Spirit. The natural tendency of man is to deny that he is a created being and that he needs God. Humility involves acknowledging his position as a creature and God as the Creator. As man humbles himself before God, God begins to lower Himself to minister to him. This is the act of grace on the part of God, and man in response to God’s love begins to draw closer towards Him. James 4:6 says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Pride prevents man from coming to God and receiving from Him, he eventually dries up and dies. But humility causes one to receive grace freely in order to bear fruit and to prosper. A humble person constantly depends on God by reading the Word and by prayer no matter how busy he is.
2. The difference between glamour and glory. Glamour is often confused with glory. A tree may look opulent with many green branches giving an appearance of glory and prosperity. However, there may not be any fruit in it. A person could appear pious or religious, or he may seemed to be prospering in wealth and all dressed up. But the true measure of one’s glory is in his nature: to love in spite of being wronged, to give without expecting anything in return, to serve when no one else is serving, to do what is right despite oppositions, to remain pure when others are not watching, to put the interest of others before your own, and to rejoice when another is promoted. While the world looks at the appearance, God looks at the heart. Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5).
3. When nothing is worth rejoicing about, rejoice that you are walking with God. The most satisfying and profound kind of joy anyone can experience is the joy of one who perseveres in doing the will of God despite suffering and injustice. This joy does not come from external circumstances, but from the joy of the Holy Spirit. Hence, we can experience such joy any time and any place as we yield our will to Him.
1. Try to seek out God’s perspective for the small and seemingly obvious decisions. You will realize there are more effective and creative ways to do things. Seek God’s help even when you feel you are up to the task. Note the difference on the days when you depend on God and the days that you don’t.
2. In your decision making process, focus on being principled rather than being pragmatic. In the longer term, you would see your efforts paying off, as you spend less time fixing problems and more time focusing on growth.
3. Change the way you give compliment to others. Offer compliment when work is done unselfishly and diligently regardless of the results. We must also learn to honor those who work faithfully in the background.
Dear Lord, I humble myself to receive Your counsel. Help me to listen to the opinions of others and value their input. Help me become more principled and less pragmatic, more substance and less form in my decision making. I praise You that as I walk in Your will, my prayers both spoken and unspoken will be answered. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.