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Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd NE, Rockford

As I think about writing this article, multiple thoughts are going through my mind.  I want to make sure I write about something interesting, something captivating, something that will spur people on towards a closer, more intimate walk following Jesus. I have to make sure I word it just right so that it catches people’s attention, and I need to thoughtfully think through every word so as to not intentionally offend or put a stumbling block in anyone’s path. I want it to be encouraging and uplifting while at the same time challenging and convicting.  It was in this moment that these words came to mind…

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 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. 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. 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. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” John 15:1-8.

These are the words of Jesus, encouraging and uplifting…

  • If we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit and God will work in our life to produce more fruit. 
  • As we abide in Him our prayers will be answered.
  • The fruit that we bear will result in our lives bringing much glory to God and be a testimony to a watching world of our following Jesus.  

These are the words of Jesus, challenging and convicting…

  • Branches that don’t bear fruit (imposter branches) are cut off and good for nothing.
  • We can’t bear fruit apart from Jesus. Abiding in Him is the source of fruit in our lives.
  • Apart from him, we can do NOTHING.  (let that sink in…NOTHING)

I will close with a few more words from Jesus.

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” Mark 4:9.

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