John 15:1-8

John 15:1-8

John 15:7Vintage message from our 2002-2003 radio program called “Perspective” aired July 20, 2003.

What is it that the Father is looking for? The Father is looking for fruit. Fruit that you are truly a part of the vine. If you are a part of the plant the produces fruit, then it is reasonable to assume that fruit will be produced in you…

You know what? I have people ask me all the time, “How do I know that the Spirit is working in my life?” Well, you look for fruit. And what constitutes fruit? If you can look in your life and even see one little piece of fruit, it proves that you are a fruit-bearing branch. You don’t need a lot of fruit to prove that. You just need one little piece. And this is what the Father is looking for. He sees the little piece of fruit growing there and He says, “Ah! A fruit-bearing branch.” And so, what does He do? He prunes it! He brings the shears and He starts cutting. The way I see that is He brings sometimes pain to our life to cut away those parts of us that are going to hinder the fruit from growing. And sometimes the process is very painful. But once you clear away the junk, guess what? It leaves the branch open to produce many times more fruit, because the junk that would be taking the nutrients from the vine are gone, and now those nutrients are free to flow to that part that will bear fruit. And this is what the Father does. He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…

There is a cleansing that comes. When you engage Jesus in His Word, when you start studying not just to have head knowledge, but when you start studying God’s Word to know the Person of Jesus a little better, even if you’re an unbeliever right now, there is a cleansing that begins to happen. God’s Word washes you. It begins to cleanse you…

There’s a lot of people I see in the church who believe they can be Christians in and of themselves. “I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. I just need to know Jesus.” Well, true, you need to know Jesus, but if you were the only branch that was growing on that vine, that vine does not have much chance at living. A vine that is healthy has many leaves to produce food, to draw in sunlight. I mean, look at nature around you. You look at a tree that has only one branch growing off of it and a few leaves. If that tree does not produce more branches and more leaves, eventually that tree dies. Just as you will die as a branch by yourself. And Jesus is saying this. You can not bear fruit by yourself. If you are a believer, I firmly believe that you need to be a part of a fellowship;. Planting yourself. Becoming involved with the body of Christ. Stepping into a place where you can be encouraged and where you can encourage. Where you can interact and where that fruit that is being produced in you can be displayed. If you’re out there on your own, if you think you’re going to play lone Christian, guess what? You’re looking for a slow, painful death. “It must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.”

Do you see the progression here? When you are remaining in the vine, when you are remaining with Jesus, when you are bearing the fruit that from a life of walking with Jesus, then you can ask whatever you wish. But the things that you’re going to wish for are the things that He would wish for, because the fruit that you’re bearing comes from Him, not from yourself. Why is it that we desire fruit that only is for ourselves? When we name it and claim it, why is it that we’re claiming those things that are only good for me and not for the health and the welfare of the body of Christ?…

Do you want to show yourself to be a disciple of Jesus? Then ask!

Father, I know that if Jesus were here, He would show Himself to be Your disciple by asking You for the things that would glorify You, so Lord, let me ask for those things that would glorify You through Jesus, because Jesus did it. This is the point of being a disciple of Jesus. It is belonging to the vine. It is knowing that you are a branch and that you must produce fruit. And what is that fruit that you’re producing? It’s not your own selfish gain. It is fruit that proves the Father’s character. It is fruit that proves Jesus’s character. It’s fruit that proves that the Holy Spirit is indwelling and interacting with you from inside out.

Pastor Dave Elkins