Defining Moments #2
“A Defining Connection”
Jonathan A. Buckland
John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
A. What Does It Mean?
1. Your fruitfulness has less to do with how much you “do” as it does with who the gardener is.
a. A seed in the hand of a master gardener as opposed to a novice gardener will determine what is produced.
b. A seed can’t be any more of a seed! Your either a believer or not, what determines your amount of fruit is based upon how much you are willing to relinquish yourself to the Gardner!
2. Fruit is produced through its connection to the vine.
a. No Connection = No Fruit.
b. Resources can only flow where there is a connection.
3. The fruit is defined by the vine it is connected to.
a. If you desire healthy and robust fruit, you need a healthy robust root system and vine.
b. You Do not spray miracle grow on fruit, you spray it on the root.
c. The strength of the vine determines the strength of the fruit!
B. What Do I Do?
1. Determine that there are some things in my life (garden) I am powerless to overcome without the help of God (gardener).
a. You inability to overcome something by yourself does not negate your responsibility to allow God to do His work.
2. Determine to open your connection larger than ever before.
a. Regardless of how powerful the source is, the source will be limited by the size of the connection.
b. The more you open your connection the greater the risk/reward potential!
3. You will be defined by the connections you make!
a. Your connections tell the story of your life. (AARP, YMCA, AAA, VFW……
b. I am confident that your choice to connect your life with the local body of Christ will be the single most defining moments of spiritual growth you have made.
c. I am confident that your connection to a small group will help you grow in Christ as you discuss and explore the Word of God.
d. Lastly, and most importantly, if you have never repented or asked for forgiveness of your sins and turned away from those sins, or if you have never been baptized in Jesus name for the washing away of your sins, or if you have never been filled with God’s Spirit I urge you to make that connection today!
Colossians 2:18-19 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.