Let’s take a look at John 15. Jesus the master storyteller is giving a masterful illustration. Jesus calls Himself the true vine and He calls his Father the gardener. Every branch that does not bear or produce fruit, the gardener cuts it off, He removes the branch. Jesus goes on to say that the gardener also prunes every branch producing fruit, so the branch can produce even more fruit.
Well the summer series is designed to help each of us produce even more fruit. It is designed to help remind us that growth is necessary if we are to continue moving forward. This series will help us recognize where we are in our abiding in Him. Have we drifted and become independent of Him? Do we still esteem Him and His presence so that we consistently protect our time with Him?
Jesus provides this reminder: Abide in Me… The branch cannot produce fruit of itself, it must be connected to the vine. So likewise it is with us. We cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit unless we are connected to the true vine. Jesus makes this bold statement, “Without Me you can do nothing.” Now I know all of those independent thinkers out there are grumbling at that statement. However, it does not make the statement any less true. After all, it is Jesus who is upholding all things by the word of His power. Selah…
The Amplified Bible states Galatians 5:22 this way, “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love…” Have you ever wondered why you can walk in love one day and the next day find it a challenge? It is because you have a choice in your yielding. When you abide in Him, it is easier for you to yield to the Holy Spirit that dwells within you. Otherwise you are more likely to yield to external pressures.
The fruit of Love is a powerful force. Why? Because God is love, so when we yield to that fruit within us we are unleashing the very power of God in and through our lives. Yielding to love sets us up for success because love, the God-kind of love, never fails.
Check out how 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 reads in the Amplified Bible. You will get a good picture of what love demonstrated looks like. After you read those verses, write down what areas of love need improvement in your life, then ask God to help you to grow as you participate in this summer series!