The Word of God is so incredibly sustaining! God’s love and faithfulness is beyond our ability to fully comprehend!
The awe-inspiring message found in John 15 has permeated my heart lately as the Lord continues to build, expand, and solidify Shepherd’s Fortress Ministries. I am seeking the Lord for a greater understanding and a deeper devotion regarding the promise of abiding in the Vine.
We must first establish within our hearts and believe what Jesus said in John 15:1, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” I am convinced with all my heart that Jesus is the true vine! The description of a vinedresser is so very insightful in helping us to understand the constant care our Heavenly Father provides in our lives.
The vinedresser is responsible for pruning, the removal of dead twigs or branches, as well as shaping the vine or tree to promote health and beauty. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2). Pruning is painful, yet if it were neglected, the result would be much worse.
The vinedresser eradicates pests and insects that would come to devour the harvest. Vinedressers have an understanding of what types of pests are attracted to the fruit of the vine. They specialize in the overall care and protection of the vine. “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, so neithercan you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:3-4). Pests present themselves in our lives in many ways such as sin, our own flesh getting in the way, negative thoughts and words, the flaming arrows of the enemy, and more. The Word of God, His truth, makes us free from all that would attempt to destroy us.
Vinedressers ensure the vine receives plenty of water during the growing season. Insufficient water levels will negatively affect the harvest. It will also affect the growth and maturity of the branches. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” (John 15:5-6). The Holy Spirit is ever-present. He is our teacher, counselor, and steadfast guide. He nurtures and provides strength as He guides us into all the truth (John 16:13).
Vinedressers gather the harvest and they monitor the vine between harvests to help ensure future harvests. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also 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.” (John 15:7-10). Part of abiding in the vine is soaking in God’s Word. We tend to allow ourselves to be consumed with the things in our lives that aren’t working out, the pressures, struggles, and our short-comings. When we determine to abide in the vine we will focus on how much God truly loves us which in turn will inspire us to willingly do all that He commands.
I encourage you to stand on these verses of Scripture and receive His Word. These promises apply to churches, ministries, and individuals. Jesus gave us these wonderful promises because He loves us and wants us to live our lives in the realm of His joy! This is possible as we abide in the Vine and fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith! “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11). The joy of the Lord is our strength!
Thank you all for you love, prayers, and support! We’d love to hear from you!