John 15 (Part 1)

Today I am writing out my answers to these simple inductive Bible study questions. They are from a book, now out of print called This Morning with God.

  1. Identify the vine, the gardener, and branches. How are they related?
  2. Define bear, fruit, prune, clean, abide, joy.
  3. Why must the branch abide in the vine? What happens to those who abide? to those who do not?
  4. How can you abide in Jesus’love? How can you glorify God? List specific examples.
  5. What is your prayer today? Take some time to tell God what you need.

John 15:1-17

 “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[a] 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. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

 

What does it mean to be a friend of God?

Dear one that I love who lives far away in a new place,

I was praying for you this morning. I remembered how I felt when I first got to college and didn’t know anyone. I remembered having alot of time to think about my life and talking to God about it as I walked around campus. A time of sadness and soul searching turned into a time of spiritual renewal/re-birth for me. I didn’t understand it all at the time- I just remember praying, like, “God if you’re out there, then show me what it means to live your way”- kind of a prayer. Almost immediately I found a Christian fellowship group that became my friend group for the rest of college.

I discovered more and more a kind of conversational prayer with God- that wasn’t just me talking to myself, but a connection with God who listens and loves.

I still have times when I feel distant from God. Even as I prayed for you I thought about how I still feel alone sometimes. How I feel that way today. I asked myself again, what does it mean to be a friend of God?

I picked up my phone and asked Google. Ha! I found this article: http://www1.cbn.com/churchandministry/radical-christians%3A-friends-of-god-movement

After I read it I thought, to the extent that I don’t know what being a friend of God means I’m not living as we humans were created to live.

I’m not. I’m not living the way I am meant to live, not yet. As I prayed ..I prayed that you (and I) would know the presence of a comforting God. Because I have experienced God in that way. I thought about what I said yesterday, pointing to the spiritual in a vague way. It doesn’t really help to point to God in a vague way. It’s better to sense something real, concrete, personal- calling to you. Waiting for an answer. Men and women throughout the ages have discovered what it means to be a friend of God. Real people, like me, at their core, but yes living in different circumstances. The German friends of God, living in a time when only people with means could purchase their own copy of Scripture. And now everyone on the planet can read it for free with an app on their phone.

What does it mean to be “radically committed to living in intimate relationship with the Lord?” Why write about that if its not possible?

John 15:15

” I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

Love,

J.

This Morning with God

This Morning with God, now out of print, is a daily study guide to the entire Bible. It’s the first guide I used when I started to care about my spiritual life as a college freshman. My copy is worn and taped around the corners. I’m going to start with Mark, and each day I’ll write out the answers to the following questions in a notebook.

Read Mark 1:1-11

“Introduction to Mark- Mark leaves the Roman Christians a written document of what Peter has been preaching to them. Mark writes tersely and loads his narrative with facts and action (note the uses of immediately). Watch Jesus act with authority. Keep a list of the miracles he performs and for what reasons. Watch the personal reactions (note the verbs and adjectives). Distinguish the groups which are offended and angered by Jesus’ teaching and actions.

  1. What does this book concern?
  2. According to Isaiah, what is the function of a messenger?
  3. How does the purpose of John’s baptism agree with verse 2? Who comes to him?Why?
  4. In what ways have you shown the seriousness of your commitment to God?
  5. Describe John’s a) appearance b) attitude toward himself and c) attitude toward the one to come after him
  6. What is your view of Jesus? your attitude toward yourself in comparison?
  7. Contrast the 2 baptisms.
  8. Describe the unusual events surrounding Jesus’ baptism. At what point do these occur?
  9. What is said about the Spirit?
  10. Identify the voice and support your answer. What does it say concerning Jesus?