Abide in the Vine


“Abide / John 15”



This is the heart of Jesus’ final message on the night he was betrayed! By dusk the next day He is hanging on a cross. Jesus is very intentional with his “last words” to his disciples.

Jesus is the Vine. 

Father is the vine dresser. 

We are the branches.

Holy Spirit catalyst (wind, rain, sun)

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Of all the things Jesus could’ve been speaking about in his last hours with his most trusted disciples, he spoke on this subject, the subject of abiding and fruit bearing!

First, What about the fruit?  What is Jesus talking about?

Titus 3:

14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

It is apparent that good works and souls are interchangeable. And there is inner fruit as well as outer fruit.

Inner fruit - Galatians 5:22

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Outer fruit - 2 Corinthians 9:8

Fruit is our only real eternal gift to God in heaven...fulfillment of God’s dream of our life, our dreams are too small His dream is for supernatural abundance to overflow from us... we must learn as branches to respond to the attention of the vine dresser. 

Let’s look at the four levels of yield.

  • no fruit

  • fruit

  • more fruit

  • much fruit 

Fruit bearing is our destiny in Christ! 


However some of us seem to have no fruit evident in our lives. Let’s discover how we can position ourselves in Christ to be those that bring much glory to God from the fruit bearing emanating through us. We must take a look at the fruitless Branch of John 15:2 focusing on the word translated as “takes away” from the Greek word Airo: this word literally means to 

“LIFT UP”. And knowing the activity of the Vinedresser it makes perfect sense. The Father is always “lifting up” the branches that grow along the ground as they tend to get coated with dust and when it rains that coating turns to mildew. The branch becomes sick and useless. The branch is too valuable to be cut off and thrown away it simply needs to be elevated lifted up to its rightful place as a fruit bearing branch.

You could no doubt see the image of the necessary cleansing from sin and shame… This “redirection “ is in order to move us to a place of being a fruit bearing branch. God must deliver us from the muck and dirt sometimes through discipline or Chastening “ as a man disciplines her son, so the Lord your God disciplines you” Deuteronomy 8:5

“ my son, do not despair of the chastening of the Lord, nor be discourage when you were repute by him; for whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son who he receives.” Hebrews 12:5 - 6

God is the source of the discipline He disciplines all believers, and He always acts out of love        

Hebrews 12: 11 explains “No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward if you want the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”

The discipline of the Lord is the proof of Sonship notice “ if you were without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you were illegitimate and not sons”

This Hebrew passage primarily teaches us love by degrees.  Are you resisting the love of God that would bring you to fruitfulness? “That peaceable fruit of righteousness” that Hebrews 12:11 speaks of only comes through repentance...let’s move on to fruit and MORE fruit ...

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The shears are coming out for it’s time to prune…Gods not finished with us just bearing some fruit he wants us to bear more fruit A gardening journal reports:

Because of the grapes tendency to grow so vigorously, a lot of wood must be cut away each year. Grapevines can become so dense that the sun cannot reach into the area where the fruit should form.

A grape Vine left to itself will always favor new growth over fruit. From a distance the luscious leaves are impressive but the true harvest concealed underneath is underwhelming. Without pruning we were only live up to a fraction of our potential… Note to self when we’re asking for supernatural blessings when were asking for abundance we’re asking for shears. What of our lives need to be cut away so that we might be there more fruit? What is draining from our life time energy and resources robbing us from the fruit bearing nature of which we were created? Where the discipline of the Lord is about dealing with sin, pruning is about dealing with a self, a self-absorbed life!

Keep in mind that the older the vine the more vigorous and intense the shearing! 

Early pruning in our life is mostly about our outward activities and priorities however mature pruning is about our values and our personal identity. Let the testing of your faith..have its perfect work ..that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing. James 1:3–4

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
....we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance. Psalms 66:10,12b


It seems that pain and perplexity comes before promotion it comes before the fullness of fruit bearing!




NEXT BLOG WE’LL LOOK AT SUPERABUNDANT FRUIT THAT COMES FROM ABIDING...

LET’S JOIN WITH THE PRAYER OF JOHN PIPER...Lord,let me make a difference for you that’s utterly Disproportionate to who I am!

-Pastor John Parks

Idols

“Idols”


During this season of 21 Days of Spiritual Pursuit it seems the Father is focusing on the development of a heart that’s wholly devoted to him. To have that complete devotion requires a ruthlessness when it comes to the things that bring us any sense of security or value apart from His presence. He deserves and desires preeminence in our heart. Our focus and complete attention or as the scriptures say “gaze” must be upon Him. We must set   Affections on things above that need to be displayed below (on earth). An Idol is any thing that takes the place of the “all consuming fiery one” Jesus, as the center of our heart. We can take a lesson from....

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Jonah- though a bible believing prophet he has a problem idolatry. When given an assignment to preach judgement & grace to the nation of Nineveh he runs (most think he’s afraid of the pagans or of failure. Then he ends up in belly of a fish, comes to senses and repents about not responding in obedience to God’s mission. That brought deliverance from the fish belly but his repentance didn’t address his idol. Jonah chapter 4 reveals his motive was nothing but HATE born out of national & racial pride (idols) that caused him to want to see the pagans of Nineveh DEAD!


He loved his nation too much. So much to lead him to be angry with God the Father desiring to save them. Jonah simply wouldn’t have it. Heart was convinced it would be better for Israel, better for his security, and better for his economy if these people didn’t exist.

Wow, he can’t properly represent the Father’s Heart because of the Idols of his own heart....what about us?


But Jonah 2:8 says...

"Those who regard worthless idols

Forsake (forfeit) their own Mercy (grace).


-Pastor John Parks

No Room

“No Room”


These two words can have such impact! They could be words filled with rejection or simply being left out or not included. Our traditional Christmas story had a clear “no room” moment as Joseph and Mary looked for a place to give birth to Jesus. Finally finding a stable amongst the animals as the place of birthing for God’s Son. Unfortunately not a prepared place but one of last resort. One that would not inconvenience the world to whom God was sending His greatest gift. 

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No Room, two words that still carry heartbreak for the Son of God as so many have “no room” in their lives. No Room in schedules for the eternal things that matter most. No Room, for activities filled with intentional tangible acts of love and service towards neighbors, friends and family. No room for including times of worship and prayer with our Heavenly Father. John’s gospel says “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” John 1:11-12

Isn’t it time to “Make Room”? To prepare a place? To receive the Gift of God’s love for us we must Believe in His name. In becoming His children we make room for His Lordship in our lives. For He now lives His life in us, through us, as us for others (see Gal 2:20). In so many ways the life we now live is one of “making room” for God to move into all of our relationships, time, thoughts and resources. We become His “Room”. Our living bodies His temple from which He can bless the world. He invites the world through us to come into His Kingdom, come out of the darkness into the light. 

-Pastor John Parks







Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room



And Heaven and nature sing

And Heaven and nature sing

And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing