John 15 is one of my favorite chapters in the bible. In fact, chapters 14 thru 17 of the Gospel of John are my favorite chapters in the entire bible. It’s as if Jesus himself is not only talking to the disciples but to me as well. These chapters speak of family, love, connection, direct involvement with God the Father and how to grow into a mature son or daughter of God.
John 15 is such a wonderful illustration of God’s involvement in our lives. John 15: 1 states that “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” A vinedresser is one who gets to know each individual vine as they are all unique and require individual attention. Some need more water, while others need more sun, and yet others might thrive in the shade or in a more arid environment. These things the vinedresser knows because he has spent time with each vine long enough to know what causes them to grow and mature enabling that vine to produce as much fruit as possible each season.
The vinedresser is our Father and he purposely has grafted us into his Son who is the true vine. Did you know that a new branch of a vine almost always will go low to the ground in the first few years? This is what Jesus speaks about in verse 2, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away.” Takes away doesn’t mean to cut off, it literally means to lift up. A vinedresser will go through the vineyard with a clean bucket of fresh water looking for these low lying branches and upon finding one, he will wash them with great care and “lift” them up and tie them so they can bask in the Son. Given enough time and they too are producing fruit.
No matter where you are in life today and no matter how your heart feels about life, I want you to know that your Father loves you most tenderly. He is going through the vineyard of your life looking for those low hanging branches and lifting them up, washing them, and placing them into the light of his Son.
If you will have faith to “abide” in him, I assure you, that in time, you too will produce fruit in those dead areas of your life again. To abide means to remain firm, steadfast, unmovable. Make a choice of faith to abide in his grace knowing that he understands that you need time to mature and grow in him.
He loves you more than you love yourself. He will not allow you to remain in dead dark places for long. Raise up your voice to him today and see if he doesn’t shine a little light into your heart, lifting your spirits. He is faithful. Trust him, for he is most certainly worthy of your love and trust, as he will never abuse that love!
Verse 9 states: “As the Father loved me, I also have loved you; abide in my love.”
I leave you with this, John 14: 23 “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and We will come and make Our home with him.”
His grace is sufficient for you, don’t allow people to tell you that you are not worthy because you have a weakness and don’t allow your thoughts to condemn you because of what you think you have or have not done in life. Even Paul the apostle said that he didn’t judge himself.
The cross is all sufficient for your forgiveness. He will never, never, never, leave you nor forsake you. Choose to abide in him today by asking him to refresh your heart with his love. I promise you as a minister of His Gospel that he will in fact do just that.
He desires to come and make his home with you! He is waiting for you to ask him, so go ahead and whisper his name and see if you don’t feel his refreshing love lifting you up and bringing you nearer his Son today.
Brian and Melinda Ward