Lack of proper nourishment simply refers to not receiving the proper nutrients needed to survive. If Christ’s life and love do not flow through us, we will be spiritually unproductive. We do not possess the ability, in and of ourselves, to express the life of Christ. We must live through Him.
Insects and disease move from dead things to living. Ongoing sin and unresolved past issues will lead to spiritual ineffectiveness. One of the results of abiding in Him is a washing of the soul, a cleansing.
Immature branches require several years of pruning before they can produce. An expert vine dresser will cut back branches to improve the quality and quantity of the fruit. For us, our priorities and focus of our energies must be guided by Christ and His word, not our desires. Consequently, we stay in the child-like state too long. And we ultimately lose out on the opportunity to bear rich fruit.
A wise gardener knows how to properly prune.
Barriers 5 & 6 – No Gardener & Being Separated from the Vine
The vine needs constant attention. For us, we must be accepting and pliable of God’s pruning. We know that everything God is doing in our lives is working together for our good.
Branches must be attached to a healthy root stock, or else they die. For us, we must not think for a moment that we are capable of surviving without Jesus.
“I’ve got to have Jesus. Without Him my life is worthless.” – Pastor Billy Johnson
We notice throughout the scripture we see this idea of abiding.
Abide – to keep in fellowship with Christ, so that His life can work through us to produce fruit.
Meaning, we’re saying, “God I’m inviting you in every area of my life.”
The Abiding Life Experience
John 15:7 – If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
As a result of this abiding relationship, answered prayer is normal. Because as we abide in Him, your view begins to change, because your mind has been renewed. As we abide in Him, your requests become so pleasing to God, that He’ll answer them before we even ask.
“This book [bible] will keep you from sin, and sin will keep you from the book [bible].” – Pastor Billy Johnson
Love for Christ
John 15:9 – As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
We must remain in the love that Jesus has for us; where we rejoice in its reality, depend on its support, and do nothing to grieve God.
Paul picked up on this in Romans 8:38-39 – For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The enemy will try to pry you apart from the reality that God loves you.
John 15:11 – These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
There’s a lot of conversation today about being happy. Happiness is dependent on circumstance. And so it comes and go. But joy is something that comes as the result of the Holy Spirit; where the joy of the Lord is your strength. With joy, circumstances can be both great or grave, yet it does not determine my joy in the Lord.
Love for Other Believers
John 15:12 – This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
When you abide in Him, a love for other believers will well up in your heart.