Be with Jesus

The Super Bowl has finished and just like that football is over. In America football is statistically the most polar sport. A recent survey said 37% of U.S. adults picked football as their favorite sport to watch. The next-most-popular sports are basketball, favored by 11%, and baseball, favored by 9%.

As football fans we love to accessorizes our life with our. teams apparel. We plaster bumper stickers on our vehicles, drink coffee from our teams mug and even buy our favorite players jersey.

However owning and wearing a jersey doesn’t make me a football player, It makes me a fan. A fan is very different from an actual player. Some differences between a fan and a player.

  • A fan is enthusiastic, jumping on the bandwagon and cheering when things are great. But when things are bad fans tend to jump ship.

  • A fan knows all the information, stats and profiles, but lacks relationship. 

  • A fan gives the appearance of loyalty, but rarely commits. 

This same idea also relates to our relationship with Jesus. Just because we say or act like a Christian, doesn’t mean that we have a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus.

Knowing about Jesus is one thing, knowing Jesus is another.

Jesus illustrates this point in John 15. Jesus teaches us about our relationship in terms of a vine and branches.

“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. “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. John 15:1-11

Jesus outlines 3 critical steps in abiding

1. Expect pruning

V2 “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."

Jesus says he cuts off the branches that bear no fruit. And he prunes the branches that are healthy so they can bear more fruit. (branches that are not bearing fruit he removes to give room for those branches that are)

The purpose of a christian life is to bear fruit.

Since the purpose of the vine is to produce fruit, the focus of attention falls on the branches and what needs to be done to ensure a good crop  Pruning is the most important operation for maintaining the fruitfulness of the vine. A completely fruitless branch is not worthy of its place in the vine and has to be removed, whereas weak branches can be strengthened by being pruned. 

God prunes so I may grow and bear fruit

Jesus is saying that our lives should match the kind of vine we are attached to—a Jesus vine.


2. We have to stay connected

V4-7 “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.

Have you ever noticed that whenever a relationship is strained, fractured or offended we disconnect? Human nature is to disconnect.

Jesus stresses the importance of connection. 

The branch is dependent on the vine, but the vine is not dependent on the branch. The branch derives its life and power from the vine. Without the vine, the branch is useless, lifeless. Sap flows from the vine to the branch, supplying it with water, minerals, and nutrients that make it grow.

Matthew 4:4 NIV Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "

If there is no connection, there is no life, no fruit.


3. Grow in your love for Jesus

V8-11 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “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. “

When we grow in our affection and love for Jesus, we live for and obey his commands.

John 14:21 MSG “The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”

Our love for Jesus stirs our hearts to follow and obey him. Not the other way around. 


We need to fill our lives with things that will stir up our love for Jesus.

zach bauer