John 15: 1-17 Jesus said “You are my friends IF you do what I command you.”

GIVE GOD TIME 

Prayer and Praise

Jesus said, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40, so we start our journey of giving God time to work in us, by praying along with this hymn… “Holy is the Lamb” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVFzxazTQNM

A WORD IN YOUR EAR 

John 15: 1-17 Jesus said “You are my friends IF you do what I command you.”

1 “I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. 

The vine is a theme used by ‘Old’ Testament prophets for the people of God.

2 Every branch which is part of me but fails to bear fruit, he cuts off; and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, so that it may bear more fruit. 

The branches were those identifying as members of the family of God…some of whom God rejects as true members of His family. 

3 Right now, because of the word which I have spoken to you – you are pruned. 4 Stay united with me, as I will with you — for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.

Unless we are united with Jesus Christ, whatever we do is man-made, and rejected by God. Jesus explains how are we united with Him, next…

5 “I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing. 

Just like a branch of a vine only has life while it is connected to the vine so we only have spiritual life while we remain in Jesus by His Holy Spirit. We can only bear the fruits of the Spirit while we have the Holy Spirit in us. We can do nothing without Him. 

6 Unless a person remains united with me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, where they are burned up.

We will be thrown into hell to be burned up if we do not remain in Him.

7 “If you remain united with me, and my words with you, then ask whatever you want, and it will happen for you. 8 This is how my Father is glorified — in your bearing much fruit; this is how you will prove to be my talmidim (disciples).

If we remain united with Jesus by His Holy Spirit and live according to His words, Jesus hears and answers our prayers to bear much fruit which glorifies His Father, which is the proof we are His disciples. 

9 “Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will stay in my love — just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in his love. 

When Jesus commands us to stay in His love, it is because we can leave His love if we are not careful…how? By KEEPING His commands!

11 I have said this to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.

By OBEYING His commands we will have real joy because God will be with us. 

12 “This is my command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than a person who lays down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 

Jesus commands that we love one another in the same way He loved us. How? By laying down our lives sacrificially. 

15 I no longer call you slaves, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is about; but I have called you friends, because everything I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 

Jesus created a family. His true disciples are family.

16 You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in my name he may give you. 

17 This is what I command you: keep loving each other!

We are called to bear fruit. (Galatians 5:22-24). Fruit that is eternal. That is why the Father answers our prayers. The command is to love each other. 

—-Summary

John 15:14 ‘You are my friends IF you do what I command you.’

Today’s Verse… 

Who is Jesus?  ‘I am the true vine’ v.1

Memory Verse:

John 15:14 ‘You are my friends if you do what I command you.’

Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing, John 15: v.5

Today’s Challenge

John 15:14 ‘You are my friends if you do what I command you.’

Prayer suggestions;-

  1. The world. (ie ‘For those in authority.’)
  2. The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
  3. Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)

Prayer and Worship

“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. 

Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; (Luke 11).

Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.

Closing Prayer: 

‘I treasure your Word in my heart, so that I won’t sin against you.’ Psalm 119:11 

Second reading – John 15: 1-17 Jesus said “You are my friends IF you do what I command you.”

15:1 “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.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 

17 This is my command: Love each other.

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