“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11
We started with John 15:1, and now we are finalizing this study today with John 15:11 and will continue our verse-by-verse studies next week. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you…” so we need to go back and remember what “these” nuggets were.
- “My Father is the vinedresser…” (John 15:1). There are vine substitutes in this world. He farms and tends the soil of your heart so it offers deep root and abundant fruit.
- “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away…” (John 15:2). From Andrew Murray: “There is the lesson of entire consecration. The branch has but one object for which it exists, one purpose to which it is entirely given up. That is, to bear the fruit the vine wishes to bring forth. And so the believer has but one reason for his being a branch – but one reason for his existence on earth – that the heavenly Vine may through him bring forth His fruit. Happy the soul that knows this, that has consented to it, and that says, I have been redeemed and I live for one thing – as exclusively as the natural branch exists only to bring forth fruit, I too.”
- “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3) More often than not, Christ’s method of cleansing is to teach you to sit and be still while He bends down, pours water over your impurities, and wipes them with His soft towel of grace. It’s in those quiet moments that we often experience the deepest levels of intimacy.
- “Abide in Me, and I in You” (John 15:4). In Hebrew, the world abide – or yashab – means to sit. Sitting is a motionless verb – which is why it’s so crazy hard to do. What I think we fail to realize is that sitting is a discipline and it takes practice.
- “I am the Vine; you are the branches.” (John 15:5) This world berates us for not being enough. We secretly covet different talents, more abilities, or increasing status because it’s somehow associated with our value. These, my friends, are lies and distractions.
- “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6) We do know that while a fruitless life affects our fellowship with Christ (our interactions), it doesn’t affect our sonship (adoption into Christ’s family).
- “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.’ (John 15:7) As you live in Him, you become increasingly knowledgeable about His characteristics and desires.
- “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:8) May we not, in our vain attempts, work to glorify Him. But let it be as in Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.”
- “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.” (John 15:10) Christ’s love for us drove Him to action. Love cannot exist without action.
God Almighty, you have given us much to chew on in these verses. Thank You for challenging us spiritually and giving us the secret to a joyful life. May we remain deeply implanted in You and seek You above all else. Help us to identify the false vines in our life and be aggressive in removing them and choosing You. We desire to be wholly consecrated to Your work and to sit at Your feet.
You are the vine, and we are the branches. Glory be to Your name. Amen.