Family Bible Study lesson for March 10: Being Productive
February 22 2002 by Lisa Horton , John 15:1-7

Family Bible Study lesson for March 10: Being Productive | Friday, Feb. 22, 2002

Friday, Feb. 22, 2002

Family Bible Study lesson for March 10: Being Productive

By Lisa Horton John 15:1-7

Not long ago, I attended a weekend retreat with a group of ladies from my church. While I was away, my sweet husband, David, decided to water my houseplants for me. When I returned home, he led me through the house, proudly pointing out all the plants he had watered. I tried to express my gratitude, while containing my laughter. Not only had David watered every "living" plant in our home, but he had also watered the "artificial" ones as well!

Remain in Jesus(John 15:1-4)

As David discovered, artificial plants have an amazing resemblance to real plants. There is one important difference however. Living plants require nourishment in order to grow, bear fruit and be healthy.

Jesus compares His relationship with His followers to a living, fruitful vine. Jesus is the vine and His followers are the branches. In order for the branches to produce abundant fruit, they must remain in the vine. If a branch does not remain in the vine, it withers and dies. Likewise, it is absolutely essential that we remain in Christ and depend totally upon Him for spiritual nourishment and life. Bearing fruit is a natural response of the genuine Christian's relationship to the vine.

Remaining in Christ and bearing fruit is a very serious matter. Jesus says the Father cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit. Does this imply that a Christian can lose his salvation? Certainly not! It does, however, confirm that a person who bears no fruit has not had a genuine salvation experience.

Be Productive(John 15:5-8)

People who profess Christ, but whose lives bear no evidence of a relationship with Him are false followers. Judas Iscariot walked, talked, dressed and looked like a disciple. But he was not a genuine follower of Christ (John 6:64-71). He was a fake! Just because someone calls himself a Christian does not mean he is a Christian.

Abraham Lincoln had a favorite riddle he used to ask his colleagues. It went like this: "If a man were to call the tail of a dog a leg, how many legs would the dog have?"

"Five," was the usual reply.

"Wrong." Lincoln would say. "The dog still has four legs. Calling the tail a leg doesn't make it one."

Hudson Taylor said: "If your father and mother, your sister and brother, if the very cat and dog in the house, are not happier for you being a Christian, it is a question whether you really are."

The true test of genuine conversion is not what we say, but how we live. Gal. 5:22-23 says the "fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." This fruit should be produced in the life of every true believer.

Remain in Jesus' Love(John 15:9-11)

Have you ever really considered the magnitude and depth of Christ's love? While we were sinners, Christ loved us and died for us (Rom. 5:8). Jesus says for us to remain in His love. In other words, don't just be aware of Christ's love - live and serve in the power of it! Let the reality of Christ's love be the motivating factor for everything we do. When we fully comprehend His love, we will desire to remain in Him and will experience a complete, overflowing joy - the joy of living in an intimate, vibrant relationship with Christ.

Love One Another(John 15:12-17)

Jesus commands us to love each other as He has loved us. How has Jesus loved us? Enough to die for us! It is only possible to love like Jesus by allowing Him to love others through us. By remaining in Christ, we become a vessel through which He can flow to love and minister to others. Someone has said that a Christian is a mind through which Christ thinks; a heart through which Christ loves; a voice through which Christ speaks; and a hand through which Christ helps.

When we live and serve in His strength, Jesus enables us to accomplish great things for the kingdom of God. We must always be careful to give Him the credit and glory for what He accomplishes. We are nothing and can do nothing without Him. But we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us!

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2/22/2002 12:00:00 AM by Lisa Horton , John 15:1-7 | with 0 comments
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