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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 1, 2014

Parson to Person: Remain in me

By DAVE FORRESTER, Trenton Missionary Church | Jan 11, 2013

There are certain food products in our grocery stores that are promoted following the festive season. These items promote weight reduction to counteract all those extra pounds gained over the Christmas season.

Entering the New Year we also do inventory of what we have and don’t have. But, do we examine our spiritual growth?

In John 15:1-4, Jesus brings the allegory of the vine and the branches; promoting growth for the believer and the church. Now, remember Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Not the church is the vine and the individual are the branches. The Church and the individual are the branches.

Jesus wants us to abide or remain in Him.

John 4:10 says that Jesus is the living water. Drinking from the well of Christ brings life.

John 15:3 says we are cleansed by the word of God.

As I ramble and think upon this passage, I pull out three thoughts:

1. God wants us to be fruitful.

God the Father prunes the branches which results in growth.

Warren Wiersbe says “a branch is good for only one thing: bearing fruit. It may be weak by itself, but it has a living relationship with the vine and can be productive.

“To abide in Christ means to be in communion with Him so that our lives please Him. We know that we are abiding when the Father prunes us, cutting away the good so we can produce the best. We glorify God with fruit, more fruit and much fruit.”

2. Jesus tells us in John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word spoken to you.”

When we know Christ, having received salvation; we are cleansed. When we sin we seek forgiveness and continue to go forward and bear fruit.

3.We are to remain in the vine.

Look at John 15:4 and see how many times we see the word remain: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

The phrase “remain in me” is emphasized to be of great importance. We as believers need to be Christ centered and Christ dependent in our everyday lives.

The other day teaching a Sunday school lesson an illustration was given of comparing our witnessing to that of the players of a football game. We have players whom are offensive, defensive and bench sitters. When we honestly look at our witnessing, which do we find ourselves practicing?

Here are my troubling thoughts for myself and to us as a community: How can we expect to be fruitful on the vine if we sit stagnant?

A man by the name of Evans said this about faith: “Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason, but taking God at his Word.”

My prayer for us as a community of faith; may we all have a fruitful and abundant year in Christ.

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