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Remain: Dependency on Christ

Jan 17, 2016
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The Cultivate Challenge

This morning Pastor Alex began his 6-week Cultivate sermon series on the topic of “Remain” as we looked at John 15. This passage is a part of the “Farewell Discourse” that Jesus spoke to His disciples right before He was arrested and crucified. These words mattered very much to Him as they were His final words to His disciples.

Israel was known as a vine. It was an image on their coins at one time. Jesus says to His disciples in 15:5, “I am the true vine”. I am the One, and my Father is the farmer. Apart from the vine, there is death. In verse 2, it says “takes away”, which means “to lift up”. The farmer would take the branches off of the ground and reattach them to the trellis so that fruit could grow.

To abide means to remain, to stay, to live. It is a place you never leave because of connection. When we abide in Christ, we bear fruit. Apart from Christ we can do nothing! Too often we find ourselves relying on our own wealth, wisdom, and talents to try to accomplish things for God. We will not succeed in our own strength. When we remain in Him, our spirit naturally bears fruit (Galatians 5). Fruit-bearing also requires pruning. Pruning is done in love to help us bear more fruit. Those that abide find:

  1. An answered prayer life (v7)
  2. An awareness of the love of God (v9)
  3. A heart of obedience (v10)
  4. Joy (v11)

Verse 8 is the key! When we bear fruit, it glorifies the Father. It “brings much” to His name. We put a light on Him.

To discuss today
1. Does your life bear no fruit, fruit, some fruit, or much fruit? How?

2. If your best friend was to answer the question about you, “How do they (about you) show a fruit-filled life, what do you think the response would be?

3. In what ways do you work in your own strength instead of in the Spirit?

4. Will you utilize the prayer journal that is offered to help you stay more connected to the vine?

Father, I confess that too often I find myself wandering from you. I want to stay connected to the vine. I want to bear good fruit for my Father’s glory. I pray that through this season of cultivating, you will till the soil of my heart so that I can exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. I confess that I can do nothing for You apart from You. Holy Spirit, prompt my spirit to stay connected to Jesus this week. Thank you!