I AM … The True Vine
Jn 15:1-17 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser
Just as sheep need a shepherd, grapevines need a vinedresser. Wild grapes cannot bear their full potential of grapes on their own, and their fruit is not as sweet as well-tended grapes.
- We were all wild grapes, needed to be grafted into the true vine, then placed in the care of a vinedresser
- The TRUE vine: There are false vines for branches to attach to. We need to be grafted in to the real one!
- Can grow to the size of tree trunks with age, all branches are shoots from the same trunk
- (Great Vine, Hampton Court Palace: 13’ around; 108’ branches; 850# black grapes in 2001)
4 Abide in Me, and I in you Abiding = awareness and connection 24/7 What does it take to be connected?
We know in our spirit when we are getting disconnected from Jesus—the important thing is to pay attention that that knowing, and DO something about it.
8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
A vinedresser provides:
- Structures to grow on (trellises)
- Vines cannot grow upward without support. If they remain on the ground, the fruit will rot.
- Branches will always grow in any and every direction– Looking for something to pull itself up (tendrils)
God-given structures do not distort or restrict our growth. They enhance us. Godly structures remove options from our lives which would stunt our fruitfulness, and leave us frustrated and full of regret in the end
Children: “I want to be grown up so I can do whatever I want”
Structures = community, morality, work, our life’s vision, THE CHURCH
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
The one who is lives unrestrained, never needing to make hard choices or sacrifice any self-serving desire, is the one who does not love anyone. That is not true freedom, but is a self-centered bondage disguised as freedom. Love – compels teenage boys to shower again
- Pruning and trimming
2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit…every branch that bears fruit, …
- Pruning all the excess – fruit grows best closest to the trunk.
- Dead branches – take necessary life from vine and diminishes its ability to bear fruit.
- Fruitful branches – harder to cut, but still necessary to avoid overreaching.
The goal of pruning is balance, which is the key to fruitfulness. Allowing The Father to prune us in a true act of faith. We see only the loss of something valuable, but He sees the fruit which will come because of the pruning.
- Trimming – removes excess leaves (leaves = work) Work alone does not impart the Kingdom of God.
- Must be rid of everything that saps life from the vine unnecessarily.
16… fruit that will remain:
The purpose of fruit is not to display something glorious, but to reproduce the life of Christ inside others. We are bearing true fruit when a portion of Christ is imparted to someone through our words, our deeds, and our lives.