God’s Deep Desire

JOHN 15:1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.

He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.

You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.

But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!

When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

As you and I continually journey with the Lord we can see time and time again that the deepest desire God has for us as His people is that we would continually engage with him on a journey of growth and development.

The Hebrew writer communicates this truth when he addresses God’s people like this:

Heb 5:12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.

13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.

14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

God’s desire for His people is growth and maturity.

In John 15 Jesus uses an analogy of the vineyard to give us a visual image of how God works with us as His people to bring about growth and maturity.

And the way God measures our growth and maturity is through the way that our lives bear fruit.

JOHN 15:1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.

Here in the portion of scripture we have Jesus just finishing the Passover meal with the disciples in the upper room, in the upper room He has taught them some amazing lessons on servanthood & the promised Holy Spirit, He also gave them a clear picture of some of the events that would soon take place concerning his betrayal, his death and even peters denial.

Judas has left them and began his plot of betrayal, and now Jesus is left with the 11 disciples and says lets leave here and begin to make our way to Jerusalem.

John 14:30 “I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, 31 but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.

Now He brings the 11 into a vineyard and begins to give them an illustrated sermon on His deepest desire for their lives that they would be fruitful people.

In this illustrated sermon Jesus points out different stages in a believers life.

  1. No Fruit
  2. Fruit
  3. More fruit
  4. Much Fruit
  1. No Fruit

The first stage or phase that Jesus deals with is the stage or phase of no fruit.

JOHN 15:1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit

Here Jesus was referring to a life that existed but had not yet bore any fruit.

2 types of people fell into this category

  1. The religious people

During His earthly ministry he was in constant confrontation with the religious people of that time, who were under the impression that because of their title they were righteous and right with God.

Jesus’ message to them was that your traditions of religion do not produce fruit that is pleasing to the Father.

Matt 15: 6 you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

  • The sinful believer

When a believer is caught in a pattern of sin, it quenches the power that I able to produce fruit within their life.

Whether it’s a religious spirit or a sinful behavior God provides a solution to person who finds themselves in this state.

He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit

“Cuts off – Take up”

When a branch is down in the mud, the vinedresser will identify its situation and then reach down and lift up out of the mud so that the branch can get the sun that it needs to bear fruit.

Jesus always gives time for a person to get out of what ever is causing them to bear no fruit and become fruitful for the Lord.

Luke 13 6“A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’

“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’ ”

  1. Fruit

The next stage of a believers life is a life that bears fruit, each and everyone of us should desire to bear fruit for the Lord.

What does fruit look like?

Titus 3:14 14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.

Gal 5:22 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.

A fruitful life confirms the truthfulness of our salvation.

17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

  1. More Fruit

The third stage of a believer’s journey is the stage of bearing more fruit. If our lives are fruitful then God’s desire is that we would not stop at just bearing fruit but we would allow God to bring us to a place of bearing more fruit.

John 15: He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.

God’s process to get a person from fruit to more fruit is to prune a man or a women’s life.

As we can see from this analogy is that the Gardner or vinedresser is personally involved with the health and development of the branch.

He examines each branch to see its current condition, then does what is necessary to the branch to bring it to its fullest potential.

Pruning – to cut away

  1. Cut things that block the sun
  2. Cut things that take nutrients but are unfruitful
  3. Cut things that keep the branch in a negative position

What ever is in our life that keeps us away from the Son, or takes energy from us that is not helping us in our walk with God, or things that are keeping us in a position that is not healthy for our future God will begin to cut it away so that we can transition from just producing fruit to being able to produce more fruit.

  1. Much Fruit

The last stage which is God’s ultimate desire for all of us, but not all of us will arrive at this level is the level of Much Fruit.

John 15:“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.

But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!

When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

This stage of fruit is usually a stage that the believer enters into in the latter stages of their walk with God.

Not all believers enter this level of fruit the reason why is this.

In all other stages The Gardner intiates the work that needs to be done to get the branch from one level to the next.

No fruit God lifts up the branch

Fruit God is working in the life of the branch

More fruit God has pruned the branch

But in the season of much fruit the branch must remain and must abide this is the effort that comes from us as the branches that we choose to remain and abide in a deep intimate way to transition from more fruit to much fruit!

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