image courtesy photobucket.com
John 15: 1-8 is the story of the vine and the importance of the branches being connected to the vine. Jesus said, I am the vine and you are the branches, my desire is that you bear much fruit!
The branches cannot bear fruit of them-selves, but must stay linked to the vine. For fruit to develop there must be pruning, watering and tending to the vine.
As Jesus ministered to his disciples, they understood about simple things; grapes, vines, sheep and fish.
Our guest Pastor Jerry told a story about The Navigators and Dawson Trotman's early work among sailors that enabled discipleship principles to spread exponentially across the military as the United States entered World War II.
Dawson taught sailor Les Spencer the foundations of Christian growth as they spent many hours together praying, studying the Bible, and memorizing Scripture. When one of Spencer's shipmates asked him the secret of his changed life, Spencer brought the man to Trotman: "Teach him what you taught me," he said.
"You teach him!" Trotman responded. And the 2 Timothy 2:2 vision was strengthened.
Much fruit began to be harvested as each sailor would share with another. Then as they were transferred to other ships, again the fruit began to multiply. The FBI decided to investigate as they suspected this might be a subversive organization. They finally decided that it was not a harmful group, but was doing the men well.
Pastor shared about his personal experience of growing tomatoes. He gave them too much water and had large beautiful vines but no fruit. The vines must be pruned, cut back, and all the tiny suckers removed in order to get an abundant harvest. In the same way our Lord must prune us at times, even when it hurts us for him to do so.
Pastor likened our children as vines that we cultivate. They soon develop and grow from the diaper stage and before long they are asking for the car keys. How soon it is that they are graduating from High School, and they believe that they are in control.
All these formative years, we were in control, helping shape their lives, and now it is time to let go and allow them to make their decisions in life. Time goes so fast. We must trust that we have tended our garden well and that these vines of ours will bring forth much good fruit.
In our own lives, when all seems to go haywire, we must trust in the main VINE and keep connected because he is our power source and strength.
Another example was given of a community garden, where all work together to harvest a good crop of fruit (or vegetables.) He likened this to the body of Christ sharing in community with other Christians in local projects to win souls for our Lord.
Pastor concluded his message by reminding us again that Jesus said,
“My desire is that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
Linked up today with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday