TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, January 04, 2019:
Member; bough; limb; offshoot; descendant.
I am the true vine and My father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Jesus uses the illustration in John 15 of the grape vine and the branches to depict the believer’s relationship with Christ. Jesus is the vine and the branches are all those who claim to be believers in Jesus. God is the cultivator who cares for the branches to enable them to be fruitful.
In verse two of chapter 15 Jesus speaks of two kinds of branches. There are those who bear fruit and those that do not. The branches that do not bear fruit are useless. Jesus compares the believer that does not bear fruit to the unfruitful branches of the grape vine that are dead. The gardener gets rid of the dead wood so that the living fruit bearing branches will bear fruit.
The dead branches depict Christians that are not living a Christ filled life, because they never really genuinely believed in Jesus. They will be cut off and face their reward on judgement day.
Just as the gardener prunes a branch to make it more productive, Jesus prunes a believer. He removes all of the things in the believer’s life that will hinder the fruit bearing of the believer. He cuts away sin and hindrances that would drain the spiritual strength of the believer.
The stronger a branch is attached to the vine the more nourishment a branch is able to draw from the vine and the more fruit it bears.
In Galatians 5:22 the apostle Paul lists for us the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are all fruit produced in the life of those who are true believers in Jesus.
In John 15:15 Jesus puts emphasis on abiding in Him which means to remain or stay around. The believer who abides in Jesus recognizes that apart from Jesus, he or she can do nothing. It is only by abiding in Jesus that a believer can be fruitful. We urge you to let Jesus work in you to prune you daily so that you can live a life that is fruitful and honors Him.
This requires that you study God’s Word and spend time in prayer talking to Him, and seek His will for your life. Then the Holy Spirit will work in your heart to prune away all the things that hinder you from bearing fruit for the Lord.
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Corinthians 5:17.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
As a branch attached to You as a child of God, help me to be willing to be continually pruned by You. May the pruning You do in my life make me a fruit-bearing witness of God’s love and may all I do glorify Your name.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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