John 15:1-17

Weekly Bible Passage

The Message (MSG)

The Vine and the Branches

 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

4″Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.

5-8″I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

9-10″I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.

11-15″I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.

16″You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.

17″But remember the root command: Love one another.

“Make yourself at home in my love.”  WOW! I am so amazed anew, always, at how very much God loves me. Make myself at home in His love, this is His word to us. Think about…. how we tend to yearn for all our abuse robbed us of…. for me, mother, father, family…. a place to go that is my home, always welcome, door open, come on in kind. All along I have had just that! My God, my Savior, my Lord says I am home in Him, His love my dwelling place, my shelter, the very roof over me. All I have to do is come, say yes, here I am. Enter into a relationship with Him, be grafted together as one. He the vine, the life giving sustenance to me His branch. I am in awe. Why have I so stubbornly looked to fill this need in other ways?  In people- to throw myself into others lives just hoping they will want me- begging to be seen. I have grieved my Father in this, I have been saying to Him, “You aren’t enough.” So now, I repent, I tell my God…. “Forgive me, Lord, I accept Your precious gift offered to me… I thank you that you are my  home, my family, me belonging, my everything. I thank you that even you hold not my stubbornness against me, that Your arms are wide welcoming me home.”

What is it that your abuse stole from you experiencing as you should have?

How do you strive to fulfill this outside of Christ?

Write out how you perceive this vine and branches passage in relation to your walk with God.

Prayerfully consider this passage as you come before the Lord, thank Him that He is your home, life and love…. ask Him to strengthen this bond. Yield your “replacement” search that He may be all He desires to – promises to be.

One last thought, I recently had someone share with me a perspective on this passage that touched my soul. God is speaking to all of His children here, all of us. He is the vine to each and every one of us, our life source… yet… a tree has more than one branch… thus… our brothers and sisters in the Lord are the other branches.. God extended to us through them. Can’t help myself… have to say another WOW! here. How may God amazes me in all His care of me. He extends so much grace and mercy to me… as He does to you.

List some people that are “fellow branches” to you along with the ways they are. Thank God for this gift.

PRAYER

I love being in You, Father. Love feeling Your Presence, experiencing Your powers flow, Your Spirits indwelling, all You are to me and through me. Wake me up more and more to You. Heal me of my abuse as I move from then to now in You. Open my heart to feel  Your touch, my eyes to see Your hand on my life… not just now but then. Keep me from “replacing” anything or anyone else in Your place. You are my vine, I Your branch, use me as You will that I may bear fruit unto Your glory.

Amen

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