I an the vine, you
are the branches. He
Second only to the
desire to know God more perfectly is
There is probably no
area of our lives which frustrates
- We pick up books
that tell of the exploits
- We hear of
fellowships that are expanding
- We read of communities of believers involved
in impressive ministries in Washington, Boston,
New York, Nairobi, and Rio.
Then we look down at our own feeble efforts,
the meager results,
how little we have to show for
years of labor!
Jesus promised that
if we abide in Him and His words
- The grain of wheat falls into the ground
and dies and bears much fruit.
- The Lamb of God
goes to the cross and dies
- The followers of
the Lamb bear much fruit
Our frustration is
not because there is no fruit, our
- Fruit that abides is mysteriously stripped
of all human glory.
If the same standards
had been applied to Jesus as are
What do you think
Jesus looked like when they dragged
and what is there to show for it?
- Absolutely nothing!
They march Him in front of Pilate.
"Are you the King of
Why are these people
so hell-bent on killing you?
Don't you realize I
have the power to have you
They drag Him on to Herod the real Jewish king.
"At long last we
meet! I've heard about you.
as I thought, you're a loser. You can't even talk!"
There isn't a TV
preacher in the country who would have
His fruit, which will
one day cover the earth with the
Note well, Jesus
never worried about how much
1. Touching human lives with the mercy of God.
2. Getting to His cross... that's all.
revolutionizing the Roman govern-
Jesus never sought publicity as a means of bearing fruit.
He avoided it like the plague.
Jesus never begged
for money as a means of "expanding
1. Touching lives with the mercy of God.
At that very hour
some Pharisees came, and said
There it is clearly
stated. "Go tell that fox what I'm
You want to bear fruit?... This is all you have to do:
... as you touch lives with the mercy of God.
- Abide in Jesus and let Him abide in you
... as you go to your cross.
If any man would come
Many of us seem to
think that to deny ourselves is some
And to take up our cross and follow Jesus means that we
start heading with Jesus to a Calvary of our own.
- Touch other lives with the mercy of God.
- Head for a Calvary of our own.
If we will settle for
these two things and forget all the
1. Touching lives with the mercy of God.
to let the oppressed
Is it not to share
your bread with the hungry,
and not to hide
yourself from your own flesh?
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
If you take away from the midst of you the yoke,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
then shall your light
rise in the darkness
And the Lord will
guide you continually,
and you shall be like
a watered garden,
whose waters fail not.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up
the foundations of many
you shall be
called the repairer of the breach,
Stop worrying about
how much you're getting done.
- or Pilate,
- or John the Baptist,
- or your best friend,
- or your worst enemy,
and concentrate on
what the Spirit singles out here in
How different from
the currently popular theories about
let the little fish follow. Always we are told to concentrate
on the little fish -- the very ones whom this world counts
"Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
"Is that all you're ever going to do? Mess
around with the nobodies? Are you the one
who is to come or do we look for another?"
But if we are going
to abide in Jesus --- really abide ---
be about His
business among the poor and the maimed and
Perhaps a reader is
worried about the executives. The
Jesus didn't chase
Nicodemus all over Jerusalem trying
we are going to bear much fruit we are going to
And when we get there, like Jesus we are going to disappear
from the eyes of the world totally. We are not heading toward
fame, we are heading toward oblivion in God.
And he said to all, "If any man would come
after me, let him deny himself and take up
his cross, daily, and follow me.
We may not fully
understand what our Calvary is. We may
- Our goal is not "success"
- Our goal is a cross!
And every day we take
up our cross by laying down our
What freedom this gives us!
- We don't have to be anything,
- We don't have to
all we have to do is
keep following Jesus toward Jeru-
If Herod threatens to kill us we too can say,
"Go tell that fox, 'Behold we cast out demons
and perform cures today and tomorrow and the
third day we finish our course.'"
And when we finish
our course you can be absolutely sure
Truly, truly, I say
to you, unless a grain
Much fruit is an absolute promise to each of us if we will;
- forsake "Vanity Road",
- leave all the glory to God,
- concentrate on following Jesus to this world's
....and if we will
follow Jesus on to the