John 15:1-6 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesa so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain 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.
5“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. 6If 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.
Sermon Context Summary
The disciples had said yes. Jesus said that His words had made them clean, that the pruning had begun. From there it was a matter of staying the course and remaining in the one they had said yes to. Jesus is reminding them to continue to say yes rather than relying on the first yes only, or straying somewhere else altogether. This reminder was necessary on several levels. First, it is necessary to recognize that there is no life to be found elsewhere. This is not a matter of choosing between good options. It is life with Jesus or death apart from Him. Second, there will be difficulty and sacrifice ahead for those who have said yes to Jesus. Whether it is the pruning process or the experience of hate from a world who hated Jesus ahead, there are storms coming. In those moments we must remain in the one who has made us clean. We must resist the temptation to take the easier path or to switch our allegiance and place our roots elsewhere in order to avoid pain and trouble. This continuous yes that we live with in Jesus is a matter of wisdom vs. foolishness. We accept the pruning that the good Gardener does and we remain in Jesus knowing that this is where true life can be found. In wisdom we take instruction and are refined, pruned, to look more like the one we are remaining in. In wisdom we are shaped towards a future that bigger than us, and that is His, and is greater than any of our short term and present desires.
- Pastor Mike said that, “Following Jesus is a voluntary commitment of confinement … for the purpose of refinement and transformation. Think and pray about the statement.
- Looking back at when you first gave your life to Jesus, how has he refined you? How has he transformed you?
- How do you respond to the wise counsel of someone you trust? Are you wise or foolish in response to correction / feedback? Proverbs 12:15 and Proverbs 23:9
- Who do you trust to give you wise counsel? Why do you trust them?
- Jesus is asking us to make a commitment like none other and follow Him. What does commitment mean to you? What does it look like for you?
- Mike shared the CROPS acronym this week:
- Context – life and pruning is hard. Life doesn’t get easier following Jesus.
- Remain – stay connected to and persevere through Jesus.
- Obey – follow Jesus’ words and deeds.
- Put other first – (1) Jesus … (2) Others … (3) You
- Secure future – you can trust God … He won’t let go.
Key Dates / Events
- Women’s discipleship and connection: The Table (thetablegatherings.com) – May 11 at 7-9pm
- Child dedications – May 14
- Graduate recognition – May 21
- Middle School Z-Night, End of School Bash – May 21
- Summer mission trip for high school students – click here
- Local missions opportunities – click here