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Knowing God Week 5

KNOWING GOD’S POWER

FED BY GOD

In John 14:12-14, Jesus tells his disciples that if they believe in him, they can do the same works he has been doing, even great things than he has done. Think about that for a moment, Jesus fed the 5,000+ from one person's daily portion of food, he raised Lazarus from the dead, and he cast out demons. How could we do these things or better?

What I’m about to tell you is true. Anyone who believes in me will do the works I have been doing. In fact, they will do even greater things. That’s because I am going to the Father. And I will do anything you ask in my name. Then the Father will receive glory from the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name. I will do it.
— John 14:12-14, NLT

In our passage this week, Jesus explains how through his image of the vine and the branches. This was once again another familiar image in Jewish culture. The grapevine was the image often used for Israel. Yet, Jesus is not focused on the grapes, or even the vine, he's focused on the branch and abiding in him. Only when we abide in Jesus can we stay healthy and strong. We must keep our eyes on what feeds us and gives us our life-force.

Many times, we can be doing all the right "religious" stuff and still feel far from God. That can be because our focus is on the wrong thing or because we have something in our life that is sucking the spiritual joy from our lives. Jesus wants to help us stay focused on what is right in our lives and rid our lives of things that cause us to feel spiritually depressed. He wants us to bear healthy fruit, but not to worry about the fruit because he's got that covered.

Our job is to be a branch and let God’s power flow through us.
— Rob Fuquay, The God We Can Know

QUESTIONS TO PONDER:

  1. When was a time you felt near to God but far away from God’s presence?*
  2. Is it possible to be surrounded by symbols and reminders of Christian faith and still feel disconnected from God? Where does the disconnect originate?** 
  3. What does it mean to you to “cling to the vine”? Have you ever placed more focus on being fruitful than being faithful?*
  4. Name some prayer practices or experiences that encourage you to abide in Christ. How does being connected to the vine help you produce good fruit?** 
*The God We Can Know, by Rob Fuquay. Chapter 5, Reflection/Discussion Questions.
**The God We Can Know, Adult Group Guide, by Rob Fuquay. Week 5, Video/Book Discussion.

I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
— John 15:1-8, NLT
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