One of the most fascinating, yet one of the most fearful portions of Scriptures is found in the Gospel of John (John 15:1-17). This portion, like many others is very profound and prolific.  Every word and phrase opens up the treasures of the unsearchable riches that can only found in His Word. This portion speaks of fruitfulness, faithfulness and fullness. As we look at this portion, we find at least Seven Things:

  1. The Father is the Gardener.  Jesus is the Vine.  We are the Branches (v.1-2)
  2. The Various Degrees’ of Fruitfulness (v. 3-4):
    • No fruit
    • Fruit
    • More fruit
    • Much fruit
  3. The Value of Fellowship (v. 5-7)
  4. The Epitome of Worship (v. 8a)
  5. The True Mark of Discipleship (v. 8b)
  6. The True Marks of Relationships (vs. 9-12)
  7. The True Marks of Friendship (vs. 13-16)

Jesus tells us that without Him, our lives will be unfruitful – we are useless without Him. But with Him in the right place in our lives, we will be fruitful beyond our wildest dreams. In other words, life with Him is the key to life that is “full and fruitful” (abundant life,  cf. John 10:10b).  Verse 6, has nothing to so with our salvation, but it is the flip side or the antithesis to our progress and success in our walk with God.  There is a prosperity side in the Gospel, but not the kind of prosperity or the way to prosperity that is taught by many false teachers. They present and propagate “another gospel”.

In verse 7, we have one of the most amazing promises and principle for answered prayers in the entire Bible. However, very often we forget the first part of the statement and focus on,  “. . .  ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you .” This is not a blank cheque, not a ,i>carte blanche statement or unconditional promise.  Without the context and conditions, promises and pledges are not worth the paper they are written on.   Many of us “claim the promises” while we either naively or ignorantly disregard the context and the conditions.  Then, when the Lord does not answer, we start doubting ourselves and even the Lord.  The issue is not with us personally, or with God.  It is with the way we are taught to use the Scriptures. The Bible is not a “promise chest”, “Aladdin’s lamp”, a book of magic, etc.  It is the invaluable, inspired infallible word of God.

If we would enjoy the benefits and blessings of the Scriptures, we need to start handling the Word of God with integrity and accuracy (2Tim 2:15).  The message of the Scriptures is unambiguous.  The Lord speaks to His people without stuttering.  Oh that His people will strive to find and understand the true meaning of the Scriptures.  Each portion of Scripture has only one correct interpretation, but many applications. We cannot have a correct application, if we have the incorrect interpretation. This Blog was started with aim of helping to correct some of these distortions and deficiencies. If just a few start to focus their attention in that direction and walk closer with the Lord, start living full and fruitful lives, my efforts will be worth it.

Now, let us get back to one of the keys (in fact a two-fold key) to answered prayers. Jesus tells us that if we abide in Him (walk with Him in intimate and unbroken fellowship) and His words (rhema) abide in us (read, study, meditate and apply the Scriptures) more of our prayers will be answered.  Who among us can’t do with a few more answered prayers! One of our aims is to help you walk closer with God and spend more time in His Word, thereby having better results in our prayers.  Incidentally, we cannot walk closer with God, until we learn to spend more time in His Word  One of the things we often do to our peril, is that we separate things that belong together (e.g., faith-works; God’s sovereignty-human responsibility, etc).  This portion of Scriptures tells us that Prayer and Bible Study belong together. Some of us think that prayer is a more spiritual engagement (activity) than reading, studying, meditating and applying the Scriptures.  I believe that we will have much more of our prayers answers if we read our Bible prayerfully. The Lord never promised Joshua that he would be prosperous if his prayer life improved.  He told Joshua that he will be successful and prosperous if he meditate on the Word and obey it (Josh 1:7-9, cf. Ps 1:2-3).

Before I bring this installment to a close, please permit me to focus on one more verse.  Verse 8.  Here we have the results of intimate fellowship with Jesus and spending intense times in His word – We will glorify God and we will prove to be disciples of Jesus.

One last thing. On this Blog-site, I will not be doing all the work and thereby receiving all the blessings.  You will have to do some work also. The Lord gives a reward for our labour to the labourer.  Our basic problem, when it comes to spiritual progress, is not a lack of knowledge; it is a lack of applying and appropriating what we know. I believe our growth will be exponential when we start applying what we know.  To help you in this area, here a few application questions:

  • How can I be more fruitful in my Christian life?
  • What is the correlation between fruitfulness and “cleanness”?
  • How are we, as Christians, made clean?
  • What in my life, can be accomplish, with excellence, without Jesus?
  • What is the meaning of “abide”?  How can I abide in Jesus and get His Word to abide in me?
  • What is  “rhema”, as opposed to“logos”?
  • Why don’t I get more of my prayers answered?
  • How am I glorifying God in my life?
  • Who is a “disciple”? What kind of a disciple am I?
  • How do I measure relationships – with God, Jesus and others?
  • What are the marks of true friendship?  How many real friends do I have?

Tell me what you think, not what others say.  What you think is more important that what others say. If you must tell me what someone says, tell me what the Lord says! Keep abiding in Jesus and His Word! This is the secret to living a life that is full, fruitful and fulfilling!