“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, that it may bear more fruit. You are
already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in
Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for
without Me you can do nothing.
God’s trying to move you through 3 stages:
2) More Fruit
3) Much Fruit
And the only way to get you there is by subtraction. And everybody talks about multiplication. But nobody wants to talk about subtraction. And before God multiplies, He subtracts. God will take something from you before He brings multiplication to you. So you got stuff in your life that bares no fruit? Bible says God is going to cut it. And you got other areas of your life that aren’t baring fruit… Bible says God’s going to cut it. Let me keep reading:
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them
and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you
bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
I didn’t get mixed up on the order. I read them in that order on purpose. Jesus is winding down His earthly ministry and He has moved and He has moved away from teaching the multitudes; now He’s teaching the Twelve. He’s having a business meeting. Whenever you shrink the group you’re talking to, the information becomes more intense. And Jesus is having a board meeting. And the thing you need to understand is when somebody gets to closing remarks, you need to listen more intently because last ones are always more meaningful.
And Jesus is winding down His earthly ministry; the preparation for His crucifixion is about to begin and He’s getting His disciples off into a corner and He’s giving them some last minute notes. And the thing He starts talking to them about is relationships: How they are, the nature of them and how to navigate through them. And He starts talking to them about how their relationship is going to change.
And he looked at them and said,
‘I no longer call you servants, but I call you friends.’
‘You are no longer just functioning in my house going through church activity but having no
idea what’s going on.’
‘I’m now bringing you into a level of relationship where you’re not just going to be operating
but that I’m going to give you information that other people don’t have.’
How many of you know that there are people that live at levels with God that they have information that other people do not possess? And you have to move forward in a relationship with God to increase in that information. The fact is Jesus is changing the relationship to a greater level of intimacy.
Let me tell you what intimacy is: Intimacy has nothing to do with your body. Intimacy has nothing to with sexual activity. Intimacy is information. Intimacy is INFORMATION. And the more intimate you are in a relationship that means the more information you have given them about you. That’s why I have always said if you’re dating or have a new friend, you don’t go have coffee at Starbuck’s one time and in 4 minutes start telling them how bad your divorce was. They have not earned that level of intimacy. See, that is intimate information. What you’re doing is bringing them in way too close… way too quick.
Intimacy is earned and we are at the backside of 3 ½ years of guys who would die with Jesus, walk with Jesus, walk in dirt with Jesus, cross deserts with Jesus. They put their head on the same rocks, ate the same food, they taught the same places, they saw the same miracles, they did everything Jesus did and now they have earned moving from just being followers and servants to having ACCESS to what He knows.
‘You are no longer just a servant following me but now you’re going to be a friend walking
along side of me because a servant does not know his master’s business.’
‘When I make you a friend then I let you know what’s going on.’
And the fact is some of you God had to test you before He could talk to you.
[To be continued until tomorrow…]
Ron Carpenter, Redemption World Outreach Church