“My Words Direct Your Life”

Eyewitness Stories: John 15:7
Message: John 15:4
NASB: John 15: 4-11; Deut 7: 8,9
In Your Bible: John 15: 4-11; Deut 7: 8,9

The words in John Chapters 14 and 15 are deep and potent. Nearly every phrase could be considered a gem to be examined by itself, starting with “abide in me”. Jesus’ teaching takes more than reading slowly. Yes, that too, but take to heart what the Master says to his disciples, “ . . . My words direct your life” (John 15:7 Eyewitness Stories).

The Vine and the Branches

Jesus compares the relationship of the vine, the vinedresser, and the branch. “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me” (John 15:4 Message).

In the Message Eugene Peterson describes this relationship between the vine, the vinedresser and the branch as an organic one—meaningful to us today and very accurate indeed.

God’s Words

When Jesus says abide in me, live in me, or remain in me he speaks at a level of intimacy we need to grasp. The man God/Jesus offers a life with a purpose.

Read and ponder what God want of you:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full (John 15:4-11 NASB).

How can this be so difficult to receive? Why do we resist Jesus’ teachings? YES, let Jesus words direct your life.

Prayer: Father, your continuing appeal to my heart is received. Yes, I’ll seek to live by your words.

Questions: Why do you think it is so difficult for believers (and non-believers) to live by God’s words? What is the most difficult part of John 14 and 15 for you to live by? Why?

Because I Live, You Shall Live Also

Eyewitness: pp.226, 227
Eyewitness Stories: John 14:17, 19, 26
John 14: 17, 19, 26 NASB
Romans 8:2, 6 NASB
In Your Bible: John 14:26; Romans 8:2 and 8:6

Jesus abruptly told his disciples he must go away and counseled them with encouraging words. These words would empower them to tell everyone they encountered about the Son of God. He said, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19b NASB).

Life in Christ

Paul writes. . . For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. That was for a purpose . . . In order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us [believers], who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8: 2,4 NASB).

Other versions of Scripture, use a picture to embrace sin as a yoke or a burden we’re attached to or actually binding us. And that is precisely what life can be if we allow sin to run in our life. Jesus came to set us free . . . . the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6 NASB). Selah.

The Holy Spirit

John writes what Jesus promised . . . “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26 NASB).

This should bolster confidence that God, the Father continues to help, guide, counsel and encourage the believer in his daily walk. Thank you Jesus for saying, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19b NASB).

Prayer: Father, Your Spirit within helps me remember what Jesus taught all the disciples, as I am one with them.

Questions: When did you realize that sin is a burden we carry but can be obliterated by faith in Jesus? How has that become powerful for you?

Power In Jesus’ Name

Eyewitness: p. 227
Eyewitness Stories: John 14:13
Message: John 14:11-15
In your Bible: John 14:11-15

This promise in John 14 may confuse us. But the Eyewitness and The Message make it poignantly clear, the believer can ask God for anything along the lines of who Jesus is and what he does. What gives us that privilege? The Apostle Paul explains it wonderfully – we are in Christ – Jesus. Power in Jesus’ name is a God thing.

Asking of God Through Jesus

  • Frank Ball in the Eyewitness, says the “in My Name” phrase is best described as “under my direction and authority” (Eyewitness John 14:13,14).
  • Eugene Peterson’s interpretation shows the magnitude of what Jesus says about asking of God. “From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I AM and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who you are in the Son” (John 14:15a Message).
  • These interpretations should bring a new understanding of God’s view of asking of him (as a believer, you already have the authority).

Meaning for the Believer

    • Jesus sent out the 12 and 70 more of his followers – giving specific direction and authority for what they should do. To heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out evil spirits, and raise the dead.
    • At the great commission Jesus expanded this charge: Go and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the name the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Instruct them to practice of all I commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this.

Wait for God’s Instructions

This direction includes believers today! Be listening for times when God moves you, speaks to you, whispers to you by the Spirit. Then move on God’s direction to you – He’s already given you the authority as a believer. Yes! It’s the reason the believer can be assured of using Jesus name and authority correctly. Embrace this. We should be doers of the Word and not only hearers as James writes. Power in Jesus’ name is a God thing.

Prayer: Father, I want to keep in communication with you all the time. I need your direction in all I do. I know I have authority by being in Jesus. Thank you.

Questions Does this expand you understanding the authority of the believer? Now what do you think when you say what “In Jesus Name” really means?

Jesus IS the Life

John 8:12 Amplified AMP
NASB: John 11:23,25
Message: John 14:10b, 11
In Your Bible: John 8:12; 11:23,25; 14:10b, 11

From the beginning God created everything. . . everything and gave mankind the breath of life (Gen 2:6).  Now in the New Testament we see Jesus address a the crowd, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life” (John 8:12 Amplified). Yes, Jesus IS the Life also.

The Father Crafts Jesus’ Words

Jesus offers life everlasting to those who believe, abide, and trust in him. Jesus is God. In the New Testament Jesus says, “The words that I speak aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act” (John 14:10b,11 Message).The disciples were learning about the Father by watching Jesus!

Lazarus Raised to Life

Lazarus died four days before Jesus arrived. He Jesus calmed Martha and Mary before he raised his friend Lazarus. Then, Jesus said to her [Martha], “Your brother shall rise again” (John 11:23 NASB). She said she knew he would do so on the last day. Then Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies” (John 11:25 NASB).

Jesus is the life giver and the Life.

Prayer: Father, Thank you for giving us Jesus, he is more than I can comprehend with my mind alone. I have to use my heart.

Questions: Why do you think that Jesus puts I am the Way, the Truth and the Life with no one comes to the Father except by me?

Jesus IS the Truth

Eyewitness Stories: John 8:18,19; 30,32
Amplified Bible (AMP) John 15: 1,4
In Your Bible: John 8; 11; 14:6-11

Jesus came down from the Mount of Olives and entered the temple to teach. But he encountered several Pharisees who challenged his authority to teach. However, we know Jesus IS the truth.

Jesus is the Truth

The leaders of the Jews came to Jesus asking him to justify how he could bear witness of himself. A really a good question! Jesus answered, “By your own Law, the testimony of two witnesses verifies the truth. I can verify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me, is the second witness” (John 8:18,19 Eyewitness Stories). The leaders could not believe or grasp this at all.

We know from the written Word, Jesus is the perfect expression of truth not merely ethical truth. The truth of God is indicative of his faithfulness to fulfill his promises to the believer. Sadly the Jewish leaders did not see Jesus as the Truth as we know it.

“But as he said these things in the treasury of the temple, many put their faith in him. To those who believed” [really believed in their heart], Jesus said, “If you keep following what I say, you really are my disciples. And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (Eyewitness Stories John 8:30-32).

The True Vine

Jesus makes a parallel between staying connected with Jesus/God/the Father and a fruit bearing vine. Jesus says, “I AM the True Vine and My Father is the Vinedresser” (John 15:1 AMP). He addresses how to live in a poignant manner, saying, “Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will Live in you] John 15:4 AMP).

The Way, the Truth, and the Life dwell in you. Yes, Jesus IS the truth.

Prayer: Father, thank you for showing me that nothing aside from you is absolute truth.

Questions: How do you connect the thought of the Way, the Truth, and the Life with the True Vine?

Jesus IS the WAY

Eyewitness: pp. 224,225
Eyewitness Stories: John 13:33-14:11
New Living Translation: John 13:33-14:11
In Your Bible: John 13:33-14:11

The time had come, Jesus told the disciples he was leaving and wouldn’t be with them much longer. He gave the disciples a new commandment – love one another. When two disciples, Peter and Philip, questioned Jesus pointedly about his going away, he answered in-directly and then directly. Jesus IS the WAY.

Going to Leave Them

For about three years Jesus taught and worked with the disciples he chose. Yet they were still unsure of who he was. During the last days before his crucifixion he had to reassure what they did know about him. “My students,” Jesus said “I cannot be with you much longer” (John 13:33a Eyewitness Stories).

Then the robust disciple Peter, asked “Sir where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I go you cannot follow. But you will later” (John 13:36,37 Eyewitness Stories).

Know Me

Jesus tries to quell their disappointment by saying he’d already prepared a place for them, and they knew the way. But Thomas boldly admitted his feelings. “No we don’t,” Thomas said. “Sir, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way”? (John 14:5 Eyewitness Stories).

Jesus told them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you really have known me, you will know who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him” (John 14:6,7 New Living Translation). No argument about it, Jesus IS the WAY.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your Son who leads us into your loving hands.

Questions: When did you stop questioning that Jesus is the ONLY WAY to the Father? How did that understanding strengthen your faith and your witness?

A Farewell Command From Jesus

Eyewitness: p. 224
Eyewitness Stories: John 13: 33, 35
NIV: John 13:33-35
In Your Bible: John 13: 33-35

After eating the Passover Supper, Jesus told his disciples he was going away. This was a tender time and a confusing time for the disciples. It included a farewell command from Jesus.

How Jesus Loved

Jesus was about to enter a journey alone, and it grieved his heart. He wanted to impart his love to the disciples in way they could show the world.

Jesus loved his disciples:

  • Selflessly – His desire was to give of himself and all he had to those he loved
  • Sacrificially – There was no limit to what his love would give
  • Understandingly – He knew their weaknesses and he still loved them
  • Forgivingly – They had no failures that he would not forgive

Show Your Love

Jesus stated clearly the priority of this command. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (NIV John 13: 34,35).

This new command

  • It is from the Master – and a fundamental command of the Kingdom of God
  • It tells his disciples to love as Christ loved
  • It is the reputation of a follower of Jesus – noted love for one another

These verses in John Chapter 13 are heady ones. Many of the verses require meditation and contemplation to reveal their impact. Yes, the farewell command from Jesus shows his love.

Prayer: Father, thank you for loving me so much. Help me love others as you love me.

Questions: How does this command make a difference in how we think, speak, and respond in daily life? When we respond to situations by following Jesus’ final command to love one another, the results may astound us. Compare those results to times you felt the command was too difficult.