Fruit and More Fruit

This is a passage that most have either read many times before, or have heard preached about. But I trust that, like me, your eyes might be opened to new truths as we meditate on the living Word of God again today. I was especially touched by the way that the Amplified Bible clarified some of the text, in parenthesis. Ask God to open your eyes, and your heart as we seek His guidance on this day.

Saturday, 2019-11-23

Bible Reference: John 15:1-2
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.

OBSERVATION: This is a passage that most have either read many times before, or have heard preached about. But I trust that, like me, your eyes might be opened to new truths as we meditate on the living Word of God again today. I was especially touched by the way that the Amplified Bible clarified some of the text, in parenthesis. Ask God to open your eyes, and your heart as we seek His guidance on this day.

APPLICATION: As God got my attention on this familiar Scripture today, I believe He pointed out the various conditions of natural man:
1). Down in verse 5, Jesus refers to the man who is apart from Him, and He said that such a man could do nothing. I am very troubled when I hear the unsaved tell a friend who is in trouble that they will pray for him/her. Without looking down my pious nose, I am thrilled that the idea of prayer before a holy and righteous God might be appealing on behalf of a friend, but please be careful in doing this while totally ignoring that same God in your own personal life. I am definitely not God, so I have no idea how God must handle requests like that, but humbly I would suggest to my friends that might be reading this blog today to please honor my God by respecting His holiness and therefore ask that He cleanse you personally before you consider asking Him for something on behalf of your friends. I don’t believe that this is an unreasonable request dear friend, because even to your parents would not afford the same privileges or recognition to strangers walking up to their door, like they did for you and your siblings;
2). In verse 2, Jesus tells us about the one who distances themselves from Him and stops displaying the character of God, and who no longer displays the fruit of the Spirit, as taught about earlier in His Word. To this believer, Jesus said that He would trim that branch off from the tree. Does that sound severe dear friend? What would you do when a spouse who lives in your home, yet dates someone else and spends more time with them than you? They have no respect for you or your home? Would you trim that individual off from your home? Do they really care about you or your home?
3). To the one who is honestly and sincerely displaying the fruit of the Spirit, I was excited that Jesus taught that He would seek to make this one even more fruitful! However, note that He said that He would still do some trimming and pruning, so that we might become even more fruitful. What does this mean? I believe it means that God will trim away those bad habits that we may have developed from the company we’ve kept, or the laxity that is trying to overcome us in not wanting to be around God’s kids as often as before, or perhaps distancing ourselves from those who need Jesus. Friends, when we think about being a saint, or a child of the one true God, and we therefore endeavor to act, speak and work like Jesus did, don’t you think that there might always be some rough edges that requires the miraculous hand of God to cleanse and redirect? I often feel powerless to overcome these inconsistencies, and I’m sure that you might also be the same. Oh for a closer walk with my Lord each and every day, is my humble plea. Think about what you may need of God today my friend!

PRAYER: Dear God, I pray that this devotional will reach the hearts of many, and that each will fit in one of the three categories that, I feel, you covered in Your Word that I studied today. Thank You for speaking to my heart as I read, and as I shared in my thoughts while writing this devotional. I believe that You desire representatives here on earth that need more of You in their lives each day. Please fill us anew, so that we may introduce or remind others of who you are. With great anticipation, we look forward to one day being at Your feet, with all our friends and family kneeling next to us! Oh what a glorious day that will be! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Evidence of Attachment or Detachment

THE HOLY BIBLE – John 15:15-8 The Message (MSG):     “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

THOUGHTS: Throughout Jesus’ ministry He made it very clear that He only spoke what was given to Him by His Father, and He only did what was instructed Him by God also. Because of this it was virtually impossible to separate the character and work of Jesus from that of God. Now friends, let me be quick to say that in no way am I minimizing the work and uniqueness of the Trinity, for we could never explain the awesome work and power of that unity. But another way of relaying my point is that, if Jesus had acted differently from the Father, and went off on His own saying anything that came to His mind, would we truly look at Him as being inseparable from the Father? Would it be clear to us that He was on the same mission as His Father, or would we perhaps think that He had a totally different ministry to that of God? As ‘children of the King’, do you suppose that friends see us as being on mission for Jesus, or a rebel on a selfish or self-seeking mission, off doing our own thing, and attributing our connection to the Father when we find it necessary to try and validate our work? Friends, there is life, and power, and vitality in staying connected to our Savior, for when we do, we will not need to prove whose we are, it will be very obvious because of our obedience – and in spite of controversy, there will be miraculous results that can only be attributed to the power of God. We are merely instruments of God – servants in the work He has assigned to us. But remember friends, when we are detached from that power source, we are merely human pretenders who are so disjointed from God, that it will quickly become evident that we are total fakes, or ‘deadwood’, fit only for the bonfire. For those readers who have accepted Jesus as Lord, I hope that You will join me in seeking the face of Jesus and attaching ourselves so effectively to Him, that no storm or hardship will sever our graft to the Vine, and that our daily strength, protection and guidance will truly come from the Vine – the Christian’s true source of life, so that we may be worthy branches suitable for bearing fruit for the kingdom. If we are truly His, let’s commit ourselves wholeheartedly so that we may be of value to our Lord.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am so thankful that I serve a Savior who was obedient to our Father, that His words and His actions were those of the Father. Thank You for teaching us through Your humility; Your honesty; Your obedience; and Your love for Your Father, that You would never want to hurt Him by disobeying Him or trying to be independent of Him. Through accepting us as Your faithful servants; Your children; and Your followers, I believe that You have a strong desire for us to follow in Your footsteps and strive for obedience and total surrender to You, the ‘Vine’, so that You may nourish us (the branches) into usable vessels, worthy of being used to reach others for You (bearing fruit). Lord, it is very obvious that this sinful world in which we live, is in dire need of servants (branches) worthy of being used by You. Please inject us with a renewed desire to serve You wholeheartedly and to be so attached to You that Your love and power may flow freely through us. For those readers who will come across this and have not been introduced to the true ‘Vine’ yet, I pray that You will use this devotional to strongly impact them today. I humble ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my true ‘Vine’ who brings everlasting peace, love and forgiveness to me daily, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!