In our Titus 2 mentoring groups, we memorize an entire treasury of Bible verses including John 15:4,5-7. This key passage is always one of the hardest to memorize but every year, the women gain wisdom by committing it to memory.

“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 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.”

Consider this: if you are a branch and Jesus is your true vine, it’s likely that a tendency exists for you (and me) to treat things as our vine that are not true. We’ll call them counterfeit vines. I wonder how the Lord might respond if we asked:

“What counterfeit vines have I been relying on instead of trusting and clinging to you, the true Vine?”

Jesus is abundantly clear here. “No branch can bear fruit by itself – it must remain in the vine. Apart from me you can do nothing.”

Clinging to counterfeit vines will ultimately produce dead branches. Dead branches require pruning and will ultimately be thrown in the fire and burned. As you lead your group this fall, we urge you to cling to the true source of supernatural power, Jesus Christ. Our Savior is the only One who can produce spiritual fruit in us and in our groups.

Some questions to consider:

Is there some vine I rely on instead of Jesus? (job status, wealth, performance, acquiring knowledge, approval from others, my children’s accomplishments, relationships, mindless escapes such as social media, binge watching TV, etc.

Do I see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in most areas of my life? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

Ask God to help you let go of any counterfeit vines so you will bear much fruit for His glory. Your group members will thank you.

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