Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
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Kendra Graham notes from John 15: 1-8
I AM the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
1. I AM the true vine, My Father the vinedresser.
2. Every branch in Me that does not fruit, He takes away. Every branch that fruits He prunes to bear more.
Do you remember that amazing, great, and deep theological movie with Keanu Reeves in it called, “A Walk in the Clouds”? This movie was so great at depicting the scene here in John 15 that Jesus is trying to get across on the night of HIs arrest. These are in essence, the last words of Jesus, who had eternity to decide what He was going to say, and this was it, John 15…. abide! Stay with Me, even when you want to disassociate and run! Which is the situation the disciples were about to find themselves in.
Ok, back to the movie… so this vineyard owner in Napa Valley, California came from Mexico, and with everything that he had, all that he owned in the world, he invested it in this land to produce a vineyard. This man, was the owner/operator/cultivator of this land in Napa Valley now, and with his root in hand, he began the process of growing his vineyard. The vineyard was very successful, with acres and acres of beautiful grapevines.
When Keanu Reeves arrives on scene, the leathery old, wrinkled man wanted to show him what he was really looking at. They walked together to the top of a ridge, where they looked out and the aged vineyard planter looked at the young Keanu Reeves and asked him, “What do you see?” Keanu answered, “I see a lot of work, a lot of vines, a lot of grapes.” The elder owner explained how wrong that answer was, and brought the young lad to a plant that was surrounded by an iron fence, and he explained to the ignorant young man, that really, he sees one vine. All the growth–all the fruit–came from this one root, planted so long ago. If that root dies, so does the vineyard. Everything the family owned was wrapped up in that one root of that one vine. I told you! #Theological #deep! John 15 shown Hollywood style!
God, who loves you more than anything, invested all He had, and came Himself, with skin on, and His name is Jesus. Jesus is the vine. God’s complete and total investment. Everything, every bit of fruit we have in our lives is dependent on that vine. We were created by God, to walk with Him, to know Him and to need Him, so He made a way Himself, so that we could be connected, and that is only through Jesus.
God cares about His vineyard. Just like the old man in the movie, got into the vineyard business to cultivate the fruit, to grow the fruit… the vineyard owner is not anti-fruit, he is pro-fruit. Do we hold it against the vineyard owner when he prunes the fruit and gets rid of the dead branches? How could he!!!?? Hahaha… don’t be crazy, of course we would tell him he has to tend to those branches, and if he doesn’t prune, the only thing he will have is a mess and distasteful drink to consume.
Yet when God prunes… we hold it against Him. We think He is against us! How could He? But God…. invested all He had in this vineyard, and so not trusting it to anyone else, He prunes, cultivates and directs where the growth is supposed to be. It’s in these times of pruning when we want to dispatch ourselves from the vine entirely…. then blame God for dying out. It’s in these times, however, when we need to purposefully keep ourselves in His presence. It’s in these times of pruning when our faith is proven to be genuine and worthwhile. It’s in these times of pruning, that if we can stay attached to the vine, the sweetest fruit will blossom, no matter the location we find ourselves in.
How can we be assured of that? The investment that has been made, cost God all He had, and the cost was for you, and for me, so that we could bear much fruit. The choice to abide in His presence, through it all, is ours.
Are you in a time of pruning? (You can tell if you are if you are in the midst of losing something… people, places and things in your life.)
Will you choose to stay in His presence, attached to the vine, trusting there is fruit to come of it all, or will you run, disassociate and dry out?
LIVE IT OUT:
LORD, life is hard. It’s so hard when things I love, and things that bore fruit in season past, now get pruned. I want to scream, “Do you know what you’re doing? Don’t prune that!” LORD, give me the strength to stay in your presence and allow the fruit you produce even from my suffering, to be a sweet aroma in Your presence today. Help me stay attached, when everything in me wants to run.
What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 12 – February 23, 2016), we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study. We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope. You can catch ALL the replays here.
Not sure how to use Periscope?
1. You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free). Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free). Click here for step-by-step instructions.
You don’t have to have Periscope to watch the replays. You can just click on the links below.
Click here to watch Week One’s study with a special performance by artist Jared Emerson.
Watch Week Two’s message on TRUTH here.
Watch Week Three Message here. Kendra shines a Light on the woman with issues.