Remember to pray as you open your time of study each day, asking that the Holy Spirit would illumine your understanding of God’s word, and would help you know how best to apply the word to your life.
Today read John 15:1-8. What is the point of Jesus’ metaphor of the vine? What is the essential exhortation that Jesus is giving to His disciples here?
In what ways is the vine metaphor fitting to make this point?
What does this look like in our lives practically speaking? How do we “remain in the vine”?
What activities of the gardener does Jesus describe in these verses? What is the purpose of these things?
One of the key outcomes that the gardener looks for is fruitfulness. What is the fruit that we are to produce? In what ways does your life show this?
According to verse 8, what is the ultimate purpose of our bearing of fruit?
Read John 15:9-17. What word(s) do you observe repeated in these verses?
How does Jesus describe the correlation between love and obedience?
What foundational command does Jesus give in verse 12?
Take a moment to think about this… How has Jesus loved us? What would this mean, then, for how we love each other?
What example of love does Jesus give in verse 13?
To what degree does this example describe the love that you have for others?
Read 1 John 2:3-11. According to verses 3-6, what is the evidence that someone is truly “in Christ” or “abiding in Christ”?
What does it mean to “live as Jesus did”? To what degree are you doing this? What would need to change to bring your life into greater conformity with this directive?
What correlation should we see between love for a brother or sister and one’s claims to be walking with Christ?
Today read Psalm 1:1-6. Who does this psalm describe as being blessed? What characteristics of their life does this psalm name?
What is their “delight” in?
What metaphor does verse 3 use to describe what is happening in this blessed person’s life?
How might this metaphor illumine our understanding of the vine-branches image that Jesus used in John 15 (which we studied on Monday)?
What does this have to say about fruitfulness in our lives?
To what degree does this metaphor describe your life right now?
Read Galatians 5:22-26. What “fruit” does Paul list in these verses?
Do you notice any similarities between some of the items on this list and the things that Jesus talked about in John 15:1-17 (which we studied on Monday and Tuesday)?
What is the connection between this fruit and the Holy Spirit? What does this suggest about evidence of the Spirit’s work in our lives?
Now read the following verses and note what they have to say about fruitfulness:
Philippians 1:9-11 –
Colossians 1:9-12 –
Where do you see this kind of fruitfulness in your own life right now?
Read Hebrews 12:4-13. What do we learn in these verses about the discipline of the Lord?
Why does the Lord discipline us?
What do these verses have to say about how we approach hardship?
What is the ultimate outcome of God’s discipline in our lives? [verse 10] What metaphor does verse 12 use to describe the result of God’s discipline in our lives?
How might these verses – with concepts like discipline and harvest – illumine our understanding of the pruning that Jesus talks about in John 15?