Thursday, August 3, 2017

Timeless Truths: I AM Series #5 - I AM the Vine

Each I AM describes who Jesus is AND who we are to be.

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 in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in 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.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

“This is my command: Love each other.”
John 15:1-17 (NIV)
  1. Vine branches were forbidden for anything but being burned once they were cut off.
  2. Separate from Christ, we are without value, like the vine branches.
  3. Christ wants to prune us to make us when we should be.

All branches weave together.
·      No branch is a single branch.
·      No branch has any particular task or job.
·      When we set aside our pettiness, God can do something great with us—we are healthy branches.

The vine is to bear fruit.
·      The fruit is not a measure of success as the world sees success.
·      This fruit blossoms into obedience no matter what.
·      This fruit blossoms into love as God loves.

An obedient, loving vine is what God wants.

People will know we are part of the vine by how we live in relationship with one another and with God!

Special thanks to Dr. Scott Peterson, Vice President For University Relations at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University for the central teachings in this series.

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