Let’s take some time to meander together through the rich blessings of John 15! You’ll have your own thoughts, of course, and your own parts that will bless you. Feel free to share them in the comments!
The True Vine
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
Clean! Does that word not bless you from the top of your head to the end of your toes?!? Already clean is even more precious ~ we don’t have to wait to be clean, we’re there now even if we don’t feel like it! The Lord said it and who are we to argue with Him – He is the Truth! Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
By this My Father is glorified, that you… Is your heart not warmed by the thought that we have the capacity to glorify God in any way? On one hand this is an absolutely astounding statement that fallen and sinful as we are we could in any way bless the Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and us. Yet the reality is we are beloved of God and we are what He treasures. (Matthew 13:44-46) The reality also is that He is the One at work in us to do good and bear much fruit! …for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
Love and Joy Perfected
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.
….that My joy may remain in you… The joy of the Lord in us!!! Wow! Here’s another thought to warm our hearts and be strength to us ~ to raise our heads from our despair and/or the pressing weight of the attack of the enemy. There are many heavy, dark things that are delivered to us in the fiery darts and the flaming arrows and missiles of the enemy. The joy of the Lord in us can strengthen us to hold up our shield of faith against those lies of the enemy, and to look to the Lord for our deliverance from them! Our battle instructions in Ephesians 6 direct us to be in our armor, to stand, to take hold of the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and to pray. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) for our part of the battle and His desire is that our joy should be full! It’s possible to have joy in the midst of trials and hard places, but there’s no shame if difficulties bring us low. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:1 emphasis ours) As Jesus said, You did not choose Me, but I chose you… and in that there is joy unbounding for us!
The World’s Hatred
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
We have hard times coming. Some have had them already, some are in them now, but for the children of God our road will not be easy. We are not alone in our trials, Jesus has gone before us. (Revelation 1:5) We are not alone in our trials, for the Lord is with us always. (Hebrew 13:5) We are not alone in our trials because we have the family of God to love us, as commanded. (John 15:12-13) We are not alone for the Lord Himself has said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)