John 15:1-8 “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. 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.” NKJV
Grafting is a horticultural technique whereby tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together.
This vascular joining is called inosculation. The technique is most commonly used in asexual propagation of commercially grown plants for the horticultural and agricultural trades. In most cases, one plant is selected for its roots and this is called the stock or rootstock. The other plant is selected for its stems, leaves, flowers, or fruits and is called the scion. The scion contains the desired genes to be duplicated in future production by the stock/scion plant.
In stem grafting, a common grafting method, a shoot of a selected, desired plant cultivar is grafted onto the stock of another type. In another common form called bud grafting, a dormant side bud is grafted onto the stem of another stock plant, and when it has inosculated successfully, it is encouraged to grow by pruning off the stem of the stock plant just above the newly grafted bud. For successful grafting to take place, the vascular cambium tissues of the stock and scion plants must be placed in contact with each other. Both tissues must be kept alive until the graft has ‘taken’, usually a period of a few weeks. Successful grafting only requires that a vascular connection take place between the grafted tissues. Joints formed by grafting are not as strong as naturally formed joints, so a physical weak point often still occurs at the graft, because only the newly formed tissues inosculate with each other. The existing structural tissue (or wood) of the stock plant does not fuse
John 3:5 “Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'” NKJV
Gal 3:27-29 “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” NKJV
We have been granted a special privilege to be inserted into the kingdom of God. And our connection to God through prayer, study and meditation is critical to the health of our graft.
Interacting: What we choose to interact with and be connected to will influence who and what we are, just like a grafted plant.
Because we live in a fleshly temple, we need to maintain close fellowship with God in order to keep our flesh in check.
Rom 8:5-8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” NKJV
We become who we surround ourselves with, which is why if you want to be spiritual you will surround yourselves with…
- Godly People
- Spiritual leaders…Preachers, Pastors, Elders, Mentors
We become what we think about, which is why we feed our mind and soul with the things of God
- Internet Content
We need to be selective about the things we look at on FB and other social media
We need to be selective about the chat rooms and philosophical readings and video we look at.
“Oh be careful little eyes what you see, Oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, Oh be careful little eyes what you see.”
Our minds and souls are like computers, if you put garbage in, garbage will come out…
Growing and Developing
We need a healthy appetite for the things of God in order to grow.
Matt 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” NKJV
Do you have a hunger for God in your soul? We need a hungering and thirsting for the things of God…
A tree that is thirsty will start to curl its leaves in order to capture any immediate moisture. So should our hearts be set on being with and gleaning from God.
We will pursue, what we have a hunger for and if we have a hunger for the things of God we will pursue Him and find him.
REVIVAL COMES TO THE CHURCH THAT HAS A HUNGER AND DESIRE FOR IT!
Matt 7:7-9 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” NKJV
Maintaining Relationships with other Believers
Just like fruit trees need other fruit trees to pollinate and bear fruit, We need the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Heb 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” NKJV
Prov 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” NKJV
We need fellowship with other believers and to learn how to work together for the kingdom of God. By the same token, believers who are looking on at newly grafted in saints, should be sensitive to the frailty of the graft and realize that the new branch needs help, encouragement, needs to be supported while the connection to the vine Jesus Christ is “taking”
John 15:6 “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.” NKJV
Most new trees take a few years to bear fruit, but eventually they do.
God did not save us to be firewood, he saved us to bear fruit. Find a purpose and bear fruit.
Don’t be a pew warmer
Luke 13:6-9 “He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'” NKJV
God expects us to bear fruit. He won’t just hack us away if we don’t, but will stir us up inside for the purpose of bearing fruit.
He will allow the keeper of the vineyard to dig up the comfort of your life to jump start you to produce. This is the role of the Pastor as the keeper of the vineyard
Purged – Two Applications
Pruning is for the purpose of encouraging healthy growth. Diseased branches are removed, unfruitful branches are taken out so they don’t suck the nutrients away from the fruitful ones etc.
1. In Present Life
Heb 12:6-11 “It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
Forms of Correction:
- Godly, Anointed Preaching
- Pastoral Counsel
- The wounds of a Friend
- God’s word, cutting to the core of our spirit.
- God’s Spirit in conviction
2. End of Time:
At the end of our life when we stand before God, we will give an account of our talents. And those who have been found faithful and fruitful will be honored, blessed and rewarded.
Purposed to Bear Fruit
We are purposes to bear fruit in the kingdom of God. Don’t be satisfied by your flesh just to live and be comfortable. Allow God to raise your expectations of yourself and live a victorious and fruitful life. Discipline your flesh and allow God to do some pruning so that He doesn’t have to purge you…
In this world many creep,
with naught to do, but eat and sleep;
and know no reason why they’re born,
but to drink their milk and eat their corn.
Jesus is the source of abundant life. As we mature we are able to bear fruit.
Once fruitfulness becomes a way of life, the believer loses sight of what he wants from life and becomes consumed with God’s will, which eventually produces true happiness and satisfaction.