Keys to Fruitful Living!
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Scripture Reading: John 15: 3- 5 (NIV)
23rd April - 29th April, 2018
"You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also 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.“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.
From the beginning of time, God’s intention for you has always been fruitfulness. This encompasses every area of your life, including your walk with God, your ministry, career, business, finances and family. His glory is revealed through you to the whole world, as you live a life of significance that signposts everyone to Him.
The passage refers to three main characters– God is metaphorically represented as the vinedresser, Jesus represents the vine, and believers are the branches. Jesus introduced God as the vinedresser who watches over the vineyard, and spurs us to fruitfulness. Jesus also wanted the disciples to fully understand who He was and who they were in Him.
He had used other metaphors in the past: "I am the Bread of life" (John 6:35); "I am the Light of the world" (John 8:12); "I am the Door" (John 10:9) and “I am the Way" (John 14:6). This time though, He referred to Himself as the “True Vine”, inferring that there were other vines. In other words, He was elucidating that there were other ways that may appear successful in this world, but true success is only found in God. All that we need to live a fruitful life is found only in Jesus.
Jesus gives us the first key to living fruitful lives in the earlier part of our foundation Scripture: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful’ (John 15: 1-2). The word “prune” in the original Greek text is “Kathairo”, which suggests “to purge, purify and to remove defilement”. Pruning removes the dead wood that can breed disease and attract insects. For us Christians, pruning is denying and depriving our old nature in order to make room for the nurturing of Christ’s nature within us (Galatians 2:20). Therefore, we must allow the Lord to prune us (Hebrews 12: 11).
The second key to fruitful living is abiding in Christ. In order to experience real fruitfulness and fulfilment in life, we must continually stay connected to Christ. Real fruitfulness does not come by the efforts of men, but rather from the life of Christ that flows within you. The Scripture says that without connection to Jesus, there can be no fruit. Now, if connection determines fruitfulness, it is important for us to know what to do to stay connected to Jesus, the Vine. To “abide” means five things, namely:
- To know God intimately (Philippians 3: 10);
- To trust God implicitly (Proverbs 3: 5-6);
- To have unwavering faith in Him (Hebrews 11: 6);
- To depend on Him completely (John 15: 5) and
- To recognise Him as your source (Acts 17: 28).
God desires that each of us live fruitful, productive lives; we do this by staying connected to Jesus…!
For further study:
Galatians 2:20, Colossians 3:1- 3
John 15: 1-2, Proverbs 3:5-6
Acts 17:28, Hebrews 12:11
Prayer: Dear Father, I thank You for the assurance of Your constant presence with me. Thank You for Your Word that You have made available to me. Thank You that Your divine power has given me everything I need for life and godliness. I ask Lord, for the desire and the strength to spend personal time with You and to pay attention to Your Word, so that I can know You more and become all that You want me to be, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
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