What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Abide in Me

In the Gospel of John 15:1-8, Jesus tells a story about the importance of our connection to the true source of life. Of the true source of power. Jesus uses the analogy of the vineyard of the vine and the branches.

Just as the electricity provides the power necessary for the bulb to produce light.
So the vine provides the life necessary for the branches to produce fruit.

Jesus is the vine, God the Father is the vine grower, and true believers are the branches.

As branches we are spiritually alive, yet we can only grow if we are connected to Him, the true vine.
As long as we are connected to Jesus the power of the Holy Spirit can run in us and keep us spiritually alive.

This passage tells us of pruning, fruit-bearing and abiding.
Let’s be clear, pruning is not punishment.

It is done so that the tree or plant can be even more productive so that it will be more fruitful. Pruning sounds destructive, but it is actually creative.

While visiting Walt Disney World when my children were little, I noticed that there were hedge-type plants growing in amazing shapes.
They had one that looked just like Mickey Mouse and another like Donald Duck.
By trimming the bushes regularly, they were able to shape the plants into the form that they were seeking.

In similar fashion, God prunes our lives to shape us into the image of Jesus.
Sometimes the pruning involves removing sin or other distractions from our lives. Sometimes God’s pruning is painful, but over time God is changing us to be more like Jesus. Because God loves us, He prunes us which allows us to bear more fruit for His glory.

You will never see a branch pruning another branch! The responsibility of pruning, shaping and otherwise trimming the vines is not of the other branches. That responsibility is God’s and God’s alone.

Pruning not only is the removal of what is bad or not necessary, but also cutting away the good and the better so that we might enjoy the best!

Second, from this text we see fruit-bearing. This fruit bearing is speaking of the spiritual life flowing through the vine. And this spiritual life produces fruit.

We are not producing fruit to please ourselves but to give to serve others.

A true branch, united with the vine, will always bear fruit. Not every branch bears a bumper crop, just as not every field has a bumper harvest, but there is always fruit where there is life.

A branch should have the same DNA as the trunk. If God’s DNA is love, then our DNA should be love as well.

Third, there is abiding.

The more we abide in Christ, the more fruit we bear. The more fruit we bear, the more the Father has to prune us so that the quality keeps up with the quantity.

Such transformation comes from connectedness, not from effort.
Suppose someone were to walk up to one of those vines and yell, “Start Producing fruit!” Nothing would happen.

Once the vine grower has done His job, all the branches have to do to bear fruit is to stay connected to the vine. The command to us is not to produce fruit.

The command is to abide! When we are abiding in Christ the fruit comes naturally. He produces fruit in us. If we abide in Christ we will bear fruit. We do not have to work at it. The Vine brings forth the fruit naturally, if we abide in the vine.

Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing.” Will we ever grasp this truth? The daily in-flow of the Holy Spirit is the only power to bring forth spiritual fruit. Abide in Jesus Christ daily and you will be transformed, conformed more and more like Christ and you shall bear fruit for Him.

Pastor Jim Frankeas is the pastor of Hope Community Church in Pilesgrove NJ.

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