“I [Jesus] am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit … Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing … If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:1-11
When we gave our lives to Jesus, we became one with Jesus. We were cut from the wild vine and grafted into the true vine, Jesus. True nourishment flowed into our branches, and people began to see a difference in our lives like sweet clusters of grapes.
We still had a bit of wildness in our branches, and the Father cut the wild parts out. Sometimes, it was painful … old habits, friends, possessions. Once those wild parts were pruned, more changes, more opportunities to serve the Lord occurred … more fruit.
The key: abiding in the true vine even during the pruning. Abiding, menō, can mean “remaining,” “waiting for,” or “remaing as one.”
Jesus tells us how to abide in Him
- His Words must be deep within us. They are the nourishment that brings “much fruit.” If His Word is planted deep within us, we will ask according to His will, and we will receive our wishes, so that we can bear much fruit.
- His love will dwell in us if we keep His commandments.
If we abide in Jesus, His joy will dwell in us, and it will be full.
Please share with us how Jesus has filled you with joy today.
Father, thank You for cutting us from the wild vine and grafting us into the true vine. It hurts when You prune us, but oh, how we love the sweet fruit it produces! Thank You for the words of Jesus. Teach us how to meditate upon these Words of Life day and night. Empower us to abide in Jesus and His love. Thank You for supplying all we need to produce fruit as we rest in Jesus.
This was a meditation spurred from Chapter 3 of the Your Sacred Yes workbook by Susie Larson. You can download the free workbook at her site.
How many categories of “Yes” do you have? Susie Larson, in Your Sacred Yes: Trading Life-Draining Obligations for Freedom, Passion & Joy, groups 12 reasons for saying “yes” into three categories: the “sloppy yes,” the “shackled yes,” and the “sacred yes.”
Larson has filled each chapter with nuggets of practical truth and application, beginning with a Bible verse and a quote. Personal anecdotes illustrate the topic of the chapter, and practical application follows with ample Scripture references. Prayer wraps the chapter with grace. Larson asks the reader to reflect upon her personal experiences. Then, “A Wise Word” serves as a memorable metaphor of the chapter. If the reader is using the book as small group study, “Group Discussion Starters” encourage conversation. Each chapter ends with a “Faith Declaration” resounding in “I refuse the rat race because God has called me to the sacred race.”
Because I’m in the rat race, I found this book especially convicting … in a good way. So much so, that when my husband and I finish our current study, we’ll take six weeks to work through the free downloadable workbook if you sign up for the study that begins July 13. We’ve also purchased the 30-minute DVD lessons that Larson has developed. That’s how much I value this message!
“We’re not called to a busyness that drains us; we’re called to an abundance that trains us.”
One of the Personal Reflections captured my attention:
“Dream with me for a moment. If you imagined your life to be above and beyond all you could ever dare to ask or think according to Christ’s glorious work in and through you (see Ephesians 3:20-21), what would that abundant life look like on you?” (Chapter 3 Personal Reflection Question)
Seldom, do I read a book other than the Bible, that inspires me to slow down, take some time, and reflect upon it with my husband. Your Sacred Yes has done this. Imagine, if all Christian “A-types” did this. Dream about that moment! It would change the world.
Thank you, Susie, for imagining the abundant life!
Father, Thank You for Susie Larson’s reflection upon the abundant life You have planned for each one of Your children. May readers capture the essence of their sacred “yes” and honor their “yes.” Teach me to honor my sacred “yes,” so that I can point more people to You and all that is sacred about You. Thank You!
I received a complimentary copy of Your Sacred Yes from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for an honest opinion.
At an event, I had the pleasure of hosting a table that focused on joy. I asked passersby to write on a flipchart where they found their joy.
To my delight, the first person stopped, smiled, and wrote “Jesus.” Most wrote, “grandchildren” and “family.”
Some struggled to think of something that brought them joy.
I watched men and women take the pen, smile, and write about their joy. Some giggled and hugged their friends or spouses. Children grabbed the pen from their mothers and proudly noted their joy.
They pointed to the hearts and scribbles that others had written and smiled at each other.
There was something special about writing on this communal memorial to joy.
Father, thank You that You have set joy before Your children in abundance. Help us to spread Your joy to others and to revel in the joy in Your hand and the joy set before us. We love You, Lord.
Where do you find your joy?
Sing for joy to God our strength;Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.Raise a song, strike the timbrel,The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.Blow the trumpet at the new moon,At the full moon, on our feast day. Psalm 81:1-3
You called in trouble and I rescued you;I answered you in the hiding place of thunder Psalm 81:7
Sing for joy to God our strength!