Monday Morning Reflections

Sermon Recap Pastor CJ

Also Known As // The True Vine

Hey Southland! Hope you are off to a great week!

This week in our series Also Known As, Pastor CJ showed us Jesus as the True Vine. Lets take a quick look back at this challenging and inspiring message!

John 15:1-5 says, “I am the true vine, and my father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, 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, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

There are two aspects to Jesus being the true vine that we need to keep in mind as our relationship with him grows.

1. When we keep abiding, God keeps producing. Even though the vine is the weakest of all fruit producing trees, the fruit it produces is the most valuable. All other fruit goes bad as time goes on but the fruit of a vine gains value over time. The fruit that God wants to produce from our lives is incredibly valuable not only to ourselves but for others.

The key to bearing this fruit according to Jesus is simply abiding in Him. In order for us to bear fruit, God has to give it. But in order for God to give it, we need to abide in Him. When we do we see that the fruit our lives will bear can only increase over time. In verses 2 and 5 we learn that first we bear fruit, then we bear more fruit, then much fruit. The longer and more consistent we abide in God, the more fruit He produces.

2. When we keep abiding, God keeps pruning. This is the part to the process that no one enjoys. When God prunes things in our lives, it can often be taken in a wrong way. God prunes not to punish us because He’s mad at us. The pruning is used to guide to get us towards becoming the best version of ourselves we can be. It guides us towards His promises. John 15:11 says that He prunes so that our joy may be full.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pruning is an art, not a science. There’s no equation or formula to follow. What God prunes in your life, He may not prune in mine. His pruning is extremely personalized to our benefit.

So all this being said as a backdrop, there are 4 questions we should ask ourselves to see what should be pruned in our lives.

1. Are any limbs growing in the wrong direction? In today’s world, it is so easy to get caught up doing a million things. Some of these things may not be bad or sinful, they may just not be the best that God wants for you. Through some soul searching and prayer, you should be able to figure out what branches of your life need to be cut out.

2. Are there any sucker shoots? What areas of your life are sucking the life out of you? What is taking more energy to maintain than it is producing?

3. Are there too many limbs? When a vine has too many limbs its fruit begins to shrink, but when the limbs are pruned the fruit the vine produces becomes larger. The same principle applies to our lives. When we put our energies into too many things they become mediocre at best, but when we prune the necessary limbs of our lives we will find greater success and impact in those important areas of life.

4. Are there any limbs ruining the appearance? One extremely important thing to remember is that other people are constantly watching our lives, and what they see is very important since we want people to be drawn to Christ through the life we live. Scripture says that we are salt and light to the world. As salt to the world we should live in a way that makes those around us thirst for the life we have and the God we serve.

This week lets spend some time abiding in Christ, asking him what we should prune so that we can be more fruitful and live the lives He’s called us to!

Blessings,

Pastor Karl