March 5, 2017

Please use the comment section on this page to share insights from today’s reading OR your own personal Bible reading.

Reading along with us in John? Here’s today’s reading:

John 15 (ESV)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 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. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”… Continue Reading

*If you click “Continue Reading”, you will leave this page and navigate to “bible.com” where you can read the rest of the chapter. Be sure to come back to this page to share what God has revealed to you by commenting below. 

Already registered? Click here to log in.

Not registered? Click here (LHCC members only)

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. As I read John 15, I was once again struck with the contrast of Jesus’ teaching with the modern “gospel” that is taught in many churches today. Today’s chapter from the Gospel of John, like so many others gives us insight into why people will hate us because of Jesus and why so many will not “endure to the end and be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

    In John 15:2-6, Jesus says, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”

    He goes on to say, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 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 15:9-10)

    What a message. It’s certainly not entertaining, fun, uplifting – unless you’re abiding in Christ. And if we abide in Christ and take this message to the world? He tells us what they’ll think of us in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

    Jesus’ message is a dividing message that separates. In Luke 12:51, Jesus says, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” Then in Matthew 10:34, He tells us, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

    OUCH!

    The unbiblical, distorted image many have of a hippie-like Jesus preaching ONLY peace and love singing “Kumbaya” around a campfire is not the Jesus we see in the biblical text. That doesn’t mean He didn’t look like a hippie and sing songs around a campfire! But if He did, it wasn’t revealed to us in Scripture. What was revealed is a message so divisive, most rejected it then and most will reject it today – including those who preach it.

    But He did preach “peace and love” too! The question is, who receives this peace and love? Only those who believe! What’s so divisive about that message? Most people think they believe. He tells us in an earlier chapter of John, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)

    Abiding and obeying. Denying ourselves and following Him. (Matthew 16:24)

    Do we have a false image of Jesus that we worship? Do we only casually read His teachings and never look deep into His message? Are we avoiding the biblical Jesus because we don’t like what we read? Maybe we don’t trust the Bible so we make up a Jesus in our minds and worship “it?”

    The second Commandment says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.” (Exodus 20:4-5)

    We might not have an actual carved image of Jesus that we bow down to and serve, but if we worship a Jesus that we create in our minds and bow down to it and serve it, God considers that as us hating Him.

    I’m clinging onto one of the closing verses in this chapter, John 15:26, “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”

    Father, guide us into all truth. We need Your Holy Spirit to help us to not be self-deceived and to keep us from deceiving others because of our ignorance. Help us to understand and follow You, Lord Jesus, according to Your revelation to us in Scripture and not our own image of You that we make up in our minds. Give us the courage to teach others about You expecting people to hate us because they hate You. May we have peace and love in Christ by abiding and obeying, denying ourselves and following You. Amen.

  2. Hi, read Job 21-25 today. And I didn’t have time to post over the last few days but I also read Job 17-20. Job after being beat down and falsely accused of being wicked and unrighteousness by his friends states in Job 19:25 “I know that my Redeemer lives and at last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed yet from my flesh I shall see God.” Reading Jobs words throughout the book of Job so far have convinced me that Job was very in tune to understanding mans need for Jesus Christ.

  3. April 19, 2017 – I revisited John 15 today because something went amiss in my commenting here several days ago, and I relish the idea of spending more time meditating on what it means to abide in Christ, just as a branch must abide in a vine in order to bear fruit.

    Jesus says, “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. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:10-11

    This is the picture the Holy Spirit is giving me:

    Imagine, if you will, moving to a wonderful foreign land, personally invited by the sovereign and all-powerful king of that nation, a king whose power reaches beyond his own kingdom, a king who cannot be shaken, cannot be threatened, cannot be conquered, and will never be removed from his throne.

    No one can enter into this kingdom without his express permission, and permission is granted only by his grace. You cannot buy your way in, barge your way in, or barter your way in. But solely because of your friendship with his beloved only begotten son, the king has not simply invited you to enter, but has even welcomed you into His own family — calling YOU his son, his daughter.

    As a grateful citizen of that new land and new member of the king’s family, rich beyond measure with all the blessings and benefits and promises inherent in being his child, including a place at the king’s table and a room in his home, a purpose in his kingdom and a calling to represent him, how would you choose to now live?

    “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:13-15

    Would you gratefully accept the son’s instruction on how to be a fruitful citizen of this new kingdom, a citizen bearing his very image, bearing even his name? And if not, if you would reject his words and his instruction, and insist on living your own way, living for yourself, what does that say about your relationship with him? Such a terrible thought.

    “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” John 15:6

    Heavenly Father, I thank you for inviting me into your kingdom and your family, by the blood of your only Son, Jesus Christ, who lay down His life and bore the wrath destined to be poured out on the kingdom of darkness and all who reject Your offer of salvation. Thank you for rescuing me from that kingdom, giving me new life in Christ! Wherever I fall short, you love me and show me immeasurable grace, because You love me so. Thank you for welcoming me into your throne room, where my requests are heard with the love of a father for His daughter. I long to serve You well, to faithfully represent You, to bear the very image of Your Son wherever I go, whatever I do, whatever I speak — because I love You. Sanctify me by the truth; Your Word IS truth (John 17:17). Amen.

Leave a Reply