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We are Grafted In

We are currently preaching a series on the "I Am" statements of Jesus.  This weekend I'll be talking about "I am the True Vine."

John 15 is one of my all-time favorite Bible passages.  I love grapes and I can just visualize a bountiful grape vine just bent over with the weight of huge, luscious grapes.  My mouth is watering for those juicy morsels right now!
What is more difficult to grasp is the idea of pruning the grape branches.  Yet, if you know anything about gardening, you know that in the winter time pruning has to be done in order for an abundant crop come harvest time. 
The most powerful image I think this passage portrays is the concept of a young branch being grafted into its source.  Jesus took lifeless branches and grafted us in as His children so we could produce fruit in abundance.  We have absolutely no life outside of Him and can do nothing when we're separated from Him.  I believe remaining in Christ means being tied so tightly to Him, that no storm, no wild animal, nothing can pull me loose from what sustains me.  His DNA is in me and I should bear the kind of fruit that He desires from me.   

So, the question bears asking first to myself and then to church, "Are we connected to the TRUE vine (vs. the ones that don't give life)? and if so, what kind of pruning needs to happen so we will bear an abundance of fruit?

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