John 15:4, 5 - The Crucial and Vital Relationship With Christ.

John 15:4, 5: The Crucial and Vital Relationship With Christ.

John 15:4, 5 (ESV) 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. 

John 15:4, 5 (MSG) "Live in me. Make your home in me just as I 
do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by 
itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit 
unless you are joined with me. 5 "I am the Vine, you are the branches. 
When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and 
organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce 
a thing.  


ABIDE or REMAIN: The same point is made by both words: live in 
intimate union with Jesus. The analogy itself tells us why. A branch 
draws its vital juices from the vine to which it is united. In the 
same way we draw the spiritual vitality that enables us to produce 
fruit from Jesus. Thus Jesus says clearly, Apart from Me you can do 
nothing. The Christian life is a supernatural life, flowing from Jesus to 
us. It can be experienced only as we live in intimate fellowship 
with our LORD. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 


   When I was a new Christian, my pastor encouraged me to 
memorize portions of Scripture. This seemed like an impossible task. The 
Bible as a whole can be intimidating, and I wasn't sure where to 
start. I had been told to open to the New Testament, and I had also 
been told that the Gospel of John is a good place for beginners. 
   In chapter 15, the last few words of one particular verse 
stood out. It wasn't that they were lofty or spiritual, but they were 
sur-prising. They made a claim that I needed to weigh. Speaking to his 
disciples at the Last Supper, Jesus said, "Apart from me you can do 
nothing." Nothing? I can do nothing without him? I didn't understand. 
Millions of people on the planet were doing things every day, and yet 
they had no awareness of or connection to Jesus. I needed to know why 
Jesus would make a claim like that. So I chose to memorize John 15:5. 
   I read it every day until one day I finally got it, and I 
cried deep, soul-satisfying tears. It's true: I can do nothing without 
you, Jesus. Everything I have ever done before I knew you and 
everything I try to do without you add up to nothing. The only things that 
have meaning are done with you and in your name and for you. 
   I have been saved fifteen years now, and this verse is still 
my favorite. I come back to it time and again to keep myself in him 
and to remember that I am nothing without him. 
   Oline Stehr is a homemaker, a wife, and the mother of three. 
[The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional] 


   Jesus gave a clear picture of what our relationship to Him 
ought to be like. He is the vine, the source of our life. We are the 
branches, the place where fruit is produced. As we receive life from 
Christ, the natural, inevitable result is that fruit is produced in our 
   In our zeal to produce results for our Lord, we 
sometimes become so intent on fruit production that we neglect abiding in 
Christ. We may feel that abiding is not as productive or that it 
takes too much time away from our fruit production. Yet Jesus said 
that it is not our activity that produces fruit, it is our 
relationship with Him. 
   Jesus gave an important warning to His disciples. He 
cautioned that if they ever attempted to live their Christian life apart 
from an intimate relationship with Him, they would discover that they 
ceased to produce any significant results. They might exert great 
effort for the kingdom of God, yet when they stopped to account for 
their lives, they would find only barrenness. One of the most dramatic 
acts Jesus ever performed was cursing a fig tree that had failed to 
produce fruit (Mk 11:14). Are you comfortable in abiding, or are you 
impatient to be engaged in activity? If you will remain steadfastly in 
fellowship with Jesus, a great harvest will be the natural by-product. 
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby] 

   The Presence is everything in the Christian life. Maybe that 
seems like an overstatement. Surely obedience is important, along with 
bearing fruit, being loving and compassionate, praying, growing in 
faith, overcoming obstacles, dealing with relationship issues, and so 
much more. That's why so many books are published and so many sermons 
preached about these things. Christian living is a vast array of 
disciplines, attitudes, and activities, and we have to know how to approach 
them. Right?  
   But think about it. What happens to your attitude when you 
have a palpable sense of God's Presence around you? How fruitful does 
your prayer life become? How strong does your faith grow? What 
obstacle seems large when you're aware that God is in the room? How hard 
is it to obey when He is present to empower you? How hard do you 
have to try to bear fruit if He is spilling out from within you? What 
relationship issues remain unyielding when His power overwhelms? The truth is 
that His Presence working within us is the key to everything, and 
without Him we can do nothing.  
   That's why cultivating both an awareness and an ongoing 
experience of His Presence is vital. When God shows up, miracles happen. 
Life comes out of death, beauty comes out of ashes, dancing takes the 
place of mourning, futility gives way to fruitfulness, confusion is 
replaced by order, and obstacles bow to His will. Even the hard side of 
His Presence - the convicting and correcting truth we don't want to 
hear - eventually gives life. When God is at work in and around us, 
everything changes.  
   Zealously, relentlessly, passionately pursue God's Presence. 
Every endeavor in the Christian life is futile without that. But with 
it, everything is possible.  
   Jesus, I need You - Your Spirit, Your life - in me and around 
me. I'm not content just to know about You or to believe the right 
things. I want to experience Your Presence. I know You want that too. 
Please, Lord, let me sense You always. [The One Year Experiencing 
Gods Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen] 


   I am the vine; you are one of the branches. Whoever lives in 
Me and I in him bears abundant fruit. Apart from Me - cut off from 
vital union with Me - you can do nothing.  
   Ponder this glorious truth: I am alive within you! Just as 
sap flows from a vine through its branches, so My Life flows through 
you. I am infinite and perfect, yet I choose to live inside you. This 
intimacy you have with Me is wondrously rich. I read your every thought. 
I'm aware of all your feelings. I know how weak you are, and I stand 
ready to infuse you with My strength.  
   When you cooperate with My indwelling Presence, asking Me to 
be in control, you can produce abundant fruit. If you try to do 
things in your own strength, ignoring your vital union with Me, you're 
likely to fall flat on your face. Anything you do produce apart from Me 
will have no value in My kingdom. So nourish well your intimacy with 
Me, beloved. Delight in My Life-giving Presence! (John 15:5; Col. 
1:27; 2Co. 12:9; Deu. 33:12) [Jesus Always by Sarah Young] 

   Apart from Me you can do nothing. On days when the tasks 
before you seem overwhelming, remember this: I am with you, ready to 
help. Take a moment to rest in My loving Presence. Whisper: "Surely 
the LORD is in this place." Relax, knowing that you're not meant to 
be self-sufficient. I designed you to need Me and depend on Me. So 
come to Me just as you are - without shame or pretense. Talk with Me 
about the challenges you face and the inadequacy you feel. Entreat Me 
to show you the way forward. Instead of rushing ahead, take small 
steps of trust, staying in communication with Me. 
   I am the Vine; you are one of My branches. As you stay 
connected to Me, My Life flows through you, enabling you to bear much 
fruit. Don't worry about being successful in the eyes of the world. 
Bearing fruit in My kingdom means doing the good things planned for you 
long ago. So live close to Me - ready to do My will - and I will open 
up the way before you. (John 15:5; Gen. 28:16; Mat. 11:28, 29; Eph. 
2:10) [Jesus Always by Sarah Young] 


   A few years ago I took a portion of my small backyard and 
planted pumpkins. The kids helped me place the seeds, and they were 
excited as we watched them grow and grow and grow. What I hadn't 
realized is that pumpkins grow on vines, and vines spread. Pretty soon 
our whole backyard was covered in pumpkin vines.  
   I worked hard to keep the vines under control by pruning 
them. I was amazed to see how fast the vines shriveled up and died 
once I had separated them from their source. Without water and 
nutrients, they had no life force. The vines died, and any pumpkins 
attached to them stopped growing.  
   The same thing happens to us when we are separated from our 
life force - Jesus. Without him, our spiritual life, our recovery, 
will shrivel up and die. We must stay connected to him if we are to 
see victory and freedom from our hurts, hang-ups, and habits. So how 
do we stay connected? We do that by spending time in fellowship 
with God, reading and meditating on his Word, the Bible, and by 
allowing him to use us to bless others.  
   Father, your Word says that you are the vine. Help me to stay 
connected to you, for I know that is the only way that I can grow strong. 
In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional by John 
& Johnny Baker] 

   Have you ever sunk your teeth into a golden, sun-ripened 
peach just plucked from the tree? Once you do, it will make 
supermarket peaches taste like Styrofoam. A juicy, freshly harvested peach 
tastes the way a peach is supposed to taste, with no loss of essential 
   Galatians 5 tells us that God's Spirit living within us will 
produce beautiful, flavorful fruit - far, far better than even the 
sweetest California or Georgia peach. This life-transforming fruit is 
genuine love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. If you try to fake it 
and project these things on your own - faux love and plastic peace - 
it ends up tasting like Styrofoam, and the Spirit of Jesus will 
have nothing to do with it. Today's Scripture reminds us, "No branch 
can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine." Son-ripened 
fruit is by far the best!  
   Holy Spirit, produce the sweet, genuine fruit of Jesus in me. 
Don't let me get away with phony peace, shallow love, and a thin 
veneer of kindness. I want people to taste the real thing in my life - 
a fresh tang that can never be mistaken for my poor efforts. And I 
want Jesus to receive the glory, not me - which I know is what You 
want too. [A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada and Larry 
Libby re John 15:4] 

   The art of growing wildly productive tomato plants requires 
attentive daily care. Once the main branches are healthy and producing 
fruit, the wise gardener will pinch off any of the sucker shoots 
growing up from the bottom of the plant. Left alone, these shoots will 
grow tall and spindly, with plenty of leaves but no blossoms or fruit 
to show for it. These suckers will siphon off the life-giving sap 
on its way from the vine to the branches. The result? Fewer and 
smaller tomatoes. In today's Scripture, Jesus speaks of His Father as 
the vinedresser who prunes His vines so they will produce even more 
fruit. But we can participate by pruning ourselves! Ask the Holy Spirit 
to show you what needs to be pared back in your life - the 
activities, habits, or preoccupations that are draining away your energies 
from the Lord's good plan for your life. Pinch them off!  
   Holy Spirit, search my heart and life today. Show me where I 
am distracted from Your desire for me. Reveal to me what needs to 
be pruned. I don't want to miss Your best! I will prune my life as 
best as I know how, but I need Your insight and wisdom. [A Spectacle 
of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby re John 15:1-5] 

   In our woods and along our street mulberry season lasts for 
many weeks in late spring and early summer. Whenever I think of "much 
fruit," mulberries come to mind. It is easy to see when the mulberries 
are ripening because their berries fall off easily, making a black 
mess and dark stains on the sidewalks, cars, and streets. Birds and 
other animals love to eat the fruit, and their droppings add to the 
stains. During my morning walks I often pause under a thickly fruited 
branch to pick a handful of berries because they are so sweet and 
flavorful. Just one handful of the luscious berries will darken my hands 
and mouth, too. But because the pigments are water-soluble 
anthocyanins, the color will wash away quickly.  
   Though botanical names in the Bible vary, it does mention 
mulberry trees, and we know that they flourished throughout Palestine 
then as they still do today. The trees grow rapidly at first, then 
slow to a crawl, which is why you rarely see a tall mulberry tree. 
Besides the black ones, there are also red and white varieties of 
mulberry. The white mulberry was grown as food for silkworm moths, because 
their leaves are the only food that silkworm larvae will eat.  
   One time we spread a big plastic sheet under a mulberry tree 
and shook the branches vigorously. The rain of ripe fruit was 
impressive. Then, to safely reach and shake even higher branches, I used the 
hook on my telescoping fiberglass pole tree trimmer/pruner. That tool 
worked so well that I accidentally pruned one of the high branches, and 
it fell onto our plastic sheet. After picking the cut branch clean, 
I tossed it off into the weeds. When I passed by a few days later, 
I noticed that the leaves on the accidentally severed branch were 
dry and brown. Immediately I thought of today's text. And I thought 
how quickly I lose spiritual life when I disconnect myself from the 
source of life. This passage in John speaks of remaining connected, 
implying that I am the one with the choice of whether or not it will 
   Lord, I choose to remain joined to You today so that my 
spiritual life won't wither and die. I want to be a fruitful branch. [God 
of Wonders by David Steen] 

   The tomato plants in my garden are robust and healthy now. 
Finally, this year, I purchased a 100-foot roll of steel-welded wire mesh 
and made five-foot-tall tomato cages. Since I placed a cage over 
each young seedling, the plants are thanking me now by growing well 
over my head. With regular training, the vines ended up mostly inside 
the cages and have adequate support. I am looking forward to a good 
crop of tomatoes. That will be the bonus.  
   Just working with tomatoes is a pleasant experience for me, 
because I love the fragrant musky aroma that surrounds me after lightly 
brushing past a single vine or leaf. A microscopic look explains the 
characteristic smell. The surface is extremely hairy. And at the microscopic 
scale, many of the hairs have the appearance of big round water towers 
that you see in many towns across America - you know, the kind that 
look like a golf ball on a tee. The swollen, fluid-filled heads of 
these glandular trichomes (as they are called) break easily from the 
lightest touch, releasing the sticky, pungent fluid. Some people don't 
like the smell at all and think it stinks. That is the reason for the 
fluid - to help deter insects from eating the leaves.  
   I find that I have to work very gently with tomato vines, 
because it is so easy to accidentally break off a fresh young growing 
tip or branch when trying to insert it back inside the cage. Once 
separated from the vine, the branch withers within a minute or two. The 
shape and structure of all soft herbaceous plants such as tomatoes 
depends entirely on pressurized water cells within. Like air-filled 
bounce houses, castles, moonwalks, jumpers, dry slides, and other 
inflatable play structures, plants rely totally on inner pressures to 
maintain their form. Breaking the connection to the vine is like turning 
off the blowers in the play structures. They quickly crumple or 
wither into an unrecognizable heap.  
   Inside every plant is a wonderfully complex and delicate 
system of pipes and conduits that conduct water, dissolved minerals, 
photosynthetic products, and plant growth regulators to all parts of the plant 
in a carefully regulated manner. Jesus could not have been more 
descriptive in calling us branches connected to Him, the vine. Without the 
connection, we are toast.  
   Lord, sometimes I wonder why my spiritual life has wilted so 
badly and isn't producing any fruit. Please forgive me for the many 
tunes that I pull away from You and try to go it alone. [God of 
Wonders by David Steen] 

   In 1956 a man by the name of J. T. Haley donated 6.3 acres of 
his land on Whispering Pines Road in the northwest corner of Albany, 
Georgia, to a newly established Sherwood Baptist Church. With about 300 
members meeting each Sunday in an Army Reserve building, the company of 
believers needed a permanent home. The church has grown steadily through 
the years, and today the Sherwood Baptist Church is a small 
megachurch of a couple thousand members, with numerous buildings and scores 
of outreach ministries. Perhaps their best-known ministries outside 
of Georgia are the film productions written, acted, produced, and 
marketed largely by church members. With one camera and a budget of 
$20,000, the church released its first film, Flywheel, on April 9, 2003. 
Their second film, the 2006 Facing the Giants, had a budget of 
$100,000 and has grossed more than $10 million to date. Fireproof came 
out two years later. It had a million dollar budget and supporting 
cast of 1,200 volunteers from Sherwood Baptist Church. Fireproof 
grossed more than $33 million in the United States alone. As of this 
writing, Courageous, their fourth film, was a cooperative effort of 
Sherwood and Mount Zion Baptist churches. The production budget for 
Courageous was in excess of $1 million. All of these Christian movies teach 
solid lessons about God and His grace, portraying people learning 
important spiritual lessons as they confront real issues of life. The 
creators of the films want God to get all the glory. To make sure that 
happens, they spend much time in prayer, pleading for divine guidance.  
   I enjoy staying after everybody else walks out to watch the 
credits roll. Credits always start with names written big so you can 
read them: lead actors, producers, directors, etc. Then the font size 
gets smaller and packed closer and closer together until barely 
legible: those who did makeup, arranged flowers, painted sets, served 
food, drove vans, baked cookies, managed child care, and did a 
thousand other tasks. All are listed, and most are members of Sherwood 
Baptist Church wanting to give glory to God. And He should get all the 
credit. He is the one who provided all the resources, all the 
inspiration, all the talent - everything. Without Him, nothing.  
   Lord, forgive us when we try to grab credit for ourselves. 
Without You, we can do nothing. [God of Wonders by David Steen re John 


The secret of true obedience is the clear and close personal 
relationship to God. All our attempts to full obedience will be failures 
until we get access to his abiding fellowship. It is God's holy 
presence consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him. I 
must consciously include the Lord in every thought, activity, and 
conversation until the habit is established. Andrew Murray 

My dearest child, It breaks my heart to see the way you struggle 
and struggle in your own strength. So often you feel depleted. You 
push and fret and end up feeling burned out and alone. There is no 
need for you to go on like this. I long to give you inner strength. 
Draw on my resources and live as you were designed to live"as a 
branch attached to the vine of my eternal love. All that you require 
will flow from my abundance to your need. And when my life has filled 
your emptiness to overflowing, it will branch out into the lives of 
those around you. I am the vine; you are the branch. Come to me and 
live. Abundantly yours, God [Postcards from Heaven by Claire 




Most Important Decision in Life: 

Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782

Prayer Made Real: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc8VdMV26VE


Restoring The Power by John Bradshaw: 

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