I recommend this recent series from John MacArthur, on John 15:1-11
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 bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“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. 6“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. 7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also 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 so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
The Benefits of Abiding in Christ, Part 1
The Benefits of Abiding in Christ, Part 2
The Benefits of Abiding in Christ, Part 3
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. (John 15:5)
We’ve been having many storms the last two weeks. Ice, sleet, freezing fog, snow, and wind. Three winter storms in the last two weeks, a lot for us. The first storm was the worst. Many thousands of people were without power. Many tree limbs came down.
There was a branch in my yard that came down yesterday. It was a biggish limb, torn right off from a large tree in the back yard. I’d planned to take a photo of it to illustrate the verse, but the yard got cleaned up before I came home from work. So I found this branch in the sheep pasture instead.
Look at it. The limb is dead, that kind of dead, rusty brown that pine trees turn when they are good and dead. It is no longer connected to the tree. That limb can stay on the ground there as long as it wants but it will never do anything except lay there and get dead-er. It will not grow longer. It will not spring pine needles, It will not bear pine cones. It will not house birds. It will not shade worms. It will only lie there, dead.
It is apart from the tree.
Do not be apart from the vine. Jesus is the vine, providing life-flowing sustenance, strength, power. Abide in Him.