John 15 was truly a revolutionary study for me. For me? Yes, for me.
You might think: "Well, you're the pastor, you should know everything." Please understand that as I study and prepare to share God's Word, I am transformed and challenged by ways God is working in me as well.
Over several months of Sunday nights, we looked into John 15 and saw a LOT of blessing. When we are in Christ, He works in us and bears great fruit in our lives. He brings about complete dependance upon Him (John 15:5).
What might trouble the average observer, though, is that there is quite a bit of trouble present in the chapter as well. There are some who fake belief. Some show outright opposition through persecution. Is Jesus some schizophrenic teacher?
What's key is in the first verse of the chapter. There, God the Father is identified as the gardener, or in the ESV, the vinedresser. Many layers exist to that statement, but at the basic level know this: God the Father is present in the vineyard and He knows exactly what He is doing.
Trouble, fighting, violence in the world? Difficulty in the church? The Father is the vinedresser. The way to understand it all? Stay close to Jesus, draw your strength from Him, and no matter the circumstance, He will strengthen you.
Have a wonderful weekend.