The Most Important Connection You’ll Ever Make

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John 15:1-2 {Jesus said} I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Are You “Connected”?

I recently read of a man in Los Angeles who nearly got in bad trouble texting. He heard a commotion outside, and walked outside his apartment to see what was happening as he was texting. He nearly ran into a 400 pound black bear. Though he escaped others were not so lucky. People have walked into swimming pools, walked into rivers, and been hit by cars while texting. More than 10,000 people seek emergency treatment every year because they are not looking where they are going while texting. We as a people are more technologically connect than ever before – but less connected on a personal level with our Creator and with our fellow man.

The Bible is all about being connected.

When Jesus was asked what the heartbeat of God’s Law was His answer was not baptism nor tithing nor Church membership. What did Jesus say?

Matthew 22:37-40 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

God wants us to live a connected life that matters: a life that connects to Him and a life that connects to those around us. Social media can be used to increase connectivity, but technology can disconnect us from both God and man. The most important connection you can make is not on Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, or Twitter. Your most important connection is to personally and spiritually bind to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We All Need To Connect To Jesus

John 15:1 I am the true vine

There are three parties in this teaching of Jesus. There is Jesus Himself, and what He calls Himself is “The True Vine”. Then there is the Father Whom Jesus says is the Husbandman. Husbandman is the old English word for the Gardener. Then the third party is the Branches in Jesus. The Branches are those who have believed in Christ, receiving Him as Lord and Savior. The overall message here is about life. Not death, but life.

To have true life you must be in Christ.

You must be attached to the True Vine if you are going to have true life. Jesus declared that “I am the True Vine”. There have been many who have claimed to be God’s Way unto Heaven. Jesus said in Mark 13:22 “false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce”.

The Vine is where life is.
The Vine has the root in which life flows.
Jesus Christ is the True Vine.

In the early Church the Apostle Peter warned about connecting with the wrong people. He said:

2 Peter 2:1-2 there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

The false teacher offers connections to God through means other than Jesus Christ. Some false teachers offer connectivity through music. Others through entertainment. I have heard it said that television does not only entertain, it instructs and shapes. There are false teachers and false teachings all around.

But Jesus Christ is true!

  • Jesus is (John 1:9) “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world”. “ The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17).
  • Jesus is “the True Bread from Heaven” (John 6:32). There is no other way to life with God the Father outside of a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • A connected relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to know God. Jesus said:

John 14:6 … I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We connect with Jesus by not by man made technology, but with God inspired faith. We “call upon His Name”. We ask Him to save us, to bring us into union with Him and with the Father. We are told:

Romans 10:9-13 … if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

When you receive Jesus as the True Vine – the Lord and Savior of your life – then He binds you with Him. You then stand justified:

Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (satisfactory payment) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

When you receive Jesus Christ as that True Vine from God, the Holy Spirit attaches you to Christ.

Your sins are forgiven because of Christ.
You are at peace with God because of Christ.
You are a son or daughter of God because of Christ.
You have an inheritance stored up for you in Heaven because of Christ.

Through the Vine and the Branches flows the same life, the same essence, the same root. Because of Jesus:

Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Attached to Jesus by faith the Christian has an eternal destiny. God saved us by His eternal love and by His Son’s magnificent sacrifice and resurrection. Christ sits on the right hand of God even now making intercession for those Who are His:

Romans 8:32-35 … He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

The True Vine loves His Branches. He loves you! But here is an important point.

If you are INDEED branches, you are to bear kingdom fruit.

 I am amused as well as somewhat irritated by “Social Network Protests”. I see these all the time. It goes like this: “If you agree with this or that, repost this”. Or “Facebook took down this picture. Let’s repost it!” Now I uphold your right as Americans to your free speech. But let me ask –

Has anything been really changed by reposting a picture or by social network indignation? No, not a thing. Never. Zip.

Jesus Christ saved us and bound His life to us so that we could literally and spiritually produce fruit. This is what He is emphasizing in this chapter. Every branch is to produce fruit, to be Light, to let that which Jesus gives shine out through your life. This is what the Apostle emphasizes in:

1 Corinthians 3:9 … we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s {garden}, ye are God’s building.

Every Christian is a Branch off of Jesus the True Vine. And God left you on this earth to bear fruit for His Kingdom
and His glory!

Our Heavenly Father Is The Gracious Gardener

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

The word translated husbandman (γεωργός geōrgos) is an Old English word for a Vine Dresser, that is, a Gardener. In our world – particularly in Columbia Tennessee – there are many people who have lawn care businesses. In the ancient world there were Vine Dressers, people who specialized in getting the highest yield of harvested fruit possible from fruiting vine branches. How would they do this? Jesus used the Vine Dressers and their techniques to explain what the Father does to us who are “Branches”. He said:

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he TAKETH AWAY …

Our Heavenly Father Lifts Us Up

The words “taketh away” is the Greek αἴρω aírō, (pronounced ah’-ee-ro, Present Active Indicative). This word can mean “to lift up, to bind up, to support, to raise up”. This same word is used in Matthew 16 where Jesus told us:

Matthew 16:24 If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and TAKE UP his Cross, and follow me.

We who are His are expected to TAKE UP or LIFT UP the Cross, that wonderful symbol of sacrificial and unselfish love, and follow Jesus. To TAKE UP means to LIFT UP. If you are in Jesus and are not bearing fruit the Father TAKES YOU UP, raises you up. I love the words in:

Psalm 145:14-20 The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

The Lord God loves the Branches for the Son’s sake. He knows that Christ gave His all for us. When we are discouraged, when we are down, when the trials of life seem to just overwhelm us, at times like that we cannot be fruitful. The branch is struggling. God will lift you up.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Oh Blessed Be the Name of the Lord! Praise Him for His loving encouragement. When I am weak then He comes to me. He reaches out in love and ties the weak branch up, binding me tighter to Jesus through prayer and His Word. He binds me with cords of love.

2 Timothy 1:7 God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Isaiah 12:2-4 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name

Praise Him! Praise Him! So often I have been down, weak, unable. I have gone to Him in prayer. I have cried out as the fathers did. Then did my Father come and lift me up.

Isaiah 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

If you are Jesus’ Child by Faith then the Father will bear you up. He wants you to be fruitful. He has left you on this earth to bear fruit for His glory!

Our Heavenly Father Prunes The Branch

John 15:2 … and every branch that beareth fruit, he PURGETH it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

The Old English word for “purge” is the Present Active Indicative of καθαίρω kathairō, which means “to prune, to cut away impurities so as to make fruitful”. The Vine Dresser would access every branch to see if it was putting out fruit. If the branch was otherwise healthy the Vine Dresser would cut away some of the branch. You see, the fruitless branch is investing too much energy in itself. You, dear believer, are bound to the Vine that is Christ not just to have an easy ride to Heaven. God expects you to be FRUITFUL. When you are placing all your energy in life in satisfying yourself or living for yourself the Father will prune you. I was thinking about this the other day when I came across this instance in the life of the Apostle Paul. We read:

2 Corinthians 12:7-8 .. there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

Now Jesus told us to “take up your Cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). I have heard people speak of their “Cross” as being an illness or some life altering condition that you have. That’s not the Cross. The Cross is VOLUNTARY, not thrust upon us.

There is a difference between a Cross and a Thorn!
The only One Who ever took up a THORN was Jesus.
The Cross is voluntary.
The Thorn is thrust upon us.

Thorns” came upon us when Adam fell into sin (Genesis 3:18). Thorns represent the corruption of sin. When Jesus died on the Cross, He died with a Crown of thorns for a reason (John 19:2). Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world. He voluntarily picked up the Cross and gave Himself for us, and we in turn are to pick up the Cross and give ourselves voluntarily to others.

Thorns are different than Crosses. The Apostle asked the Lord to take away this thorn in the flesh that he had three times. The thorn was given to Paul to humble him “lest I be exalted above measure”. The thorn is suffering. After praying THREE TIMES that the thorn be removed the Lord told Paul:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 … My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

This is the Father’s pruning of the Branch. When we are too full of ourselves to be used of God to bear fruit the Father prunes us. He prunes us by thorns, by trials, by suffering. He does this so that we will be more fruitful. I heard a preacher say one time that “God never tries His children”. Beloved, if you believe this then you are worshiping a false god, not the God of the Scripture.

God tried Abraham when He told him in:

Genesis 22:2 Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering

God brings trials and tribulations to us to prune us, to prove us, to make us more productive.

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Our Father prunes us, shapes us, and makes us more fruitful. Have you ever noticed how God is described in Scripture?

God is our Shepherd. (Psalm 23:1)
God is our Potter. (Isaiah 64:8)
God is our Vine Dresser. (John 15:1)

In every case the Father cuts away or removes part of us to make us more fruitful.

God SHEARS the sheep.
God SHAPES the pot.
God SLICES away parts of the branch.

Every trial that comes our way is under His loving gaze. God continually works in His children to make us more fruitful!

Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

The pruning of God on the Branch makes us draw closer to Him. God’s Grace is sufficient for us all. Let us bind to Him, and love Him, knowing all things are under His control. When tried, remember His Word.

Let Us Branches Cling To Jesus!

John 15:3 Now ye are CLEAN through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Again we need to refer to the original text. The word translated “CLEAN” is καθαρός katharos which means “To be purified”. We are brought into a right relationship with God our Father through the Word of Christ. When trials come, cling to Jesus. Focus upon His Word. Seek His face in Prayer. God our Father wants us to be fruitful. How can we be fruitful?

John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

No Christian shall be fruitful who is not abiding in Christ’s Word. No Church shall be fruitful that is not abiding in Christ’s Word. Without Him we can do nothing. We desperately need Jesus. Not just to save us, but to be in our lives every moment of every day. This is where power is. It is in abiding in Him! Pastor Scott Hubbard wrote:

As you come to your Bible, then, expect God to do just what he says he will: teach you, reprove you, correct you, train you (2 Timothy 3:16). Might we even be so bold as to pray for him to do so? “Whatever idols need to be shattered, shatter them. Whatever lies need to be broken, break them. Discomfort me, rework me, unsettle me — whatever it takes to bring me to you.” Such a prayer is worth the pain. For after God has stripped us of our pride, self-sufficiency, and comfortable illusions, what will be left? Joy. Freedom. The hope of glory. Christ himself.”

What happens when we do not abide in Christ? Jesus tells us:

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

I had someone tell me once this is the picture of the Christian who loses his salvation then goes to hell. No, this text has nothing to do with backsliders going to hell. Jesus said of the unproductive and withered branch and MEN gather them. Not God. Not angels. MEN. People. What is Jesus warning of? It is exactly this:

When the Christian and the Church become like the lost world, the lost world will control us and destroy us. This happened to the Church in Germany in World War II. This is happening to the American Church in many cities today. When there is no difference in connectivity between the lost and the saved, then nothing but destruction comes. How do we avoid this?

John 15:7-8 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

God wants us as His Church to be fruitful. The only way we can be fruitful is to connect to Jesus. To do as He says. To love as He loved. To serve as He served. Nothing else will suffice. The Church that focuses on worldliness soon becomes one with the world. In that case Jesus warned us in Revelation 2:5

repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

Let His Church repent, and seek His face. Let us shine for Him so He will shine through us. May God touch us all with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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