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Every Day with Jesus

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EVERY DAY WITH JESUS 8

Scripture: John 15:1–11, 16

Memory verse: John 15:4
"No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

Lead—In

Before class, cut pictures of fruit, vegetables, and flowers from magazines. In class show each picture and let the students identify it. Explain that each of these came from a growing, healthy plant.

Explain that growing healthy, productive plants requires work. A farmer does not just look at his garden and hope it grows something. He spends hours planting and tending his plants.

Bring some bean seeds to class, potting soil, a spoon, a cup and water. Fill the cup two-thirds full with soil. Place a couple of seeds on the soil and cover them with another layer of soil. Water the soil thoroughly.

As you work, ask the students questions about the planting process, such as what would happen if you did not cover the seeds with soil. Mention that without soil the seeds cannot take root and grow. Ask why you watered the soil after you planted the seed. Explain that the seed cannot sprout without water.

Display a healthy plant. Explain that this plant does not bear fruit or vegetables, but it does have leaves and it grows into a vine. Tell the students today’s study shows how Christians are like the branches of a vine.

Hearing God’s Word

When Jesus was here on earth, He knew people often had trouble doing what was right. He also knew how to help them solve this problem.

Jesus is the Vine

(Read John 15:1.) Jesus said He is the vine and God is the gardener who takes care of the vine. (Show the plant used earlier, focusing on how the branches are attached to the main vine. Read John 15:16.) Jesus wants and expects us to bear fruit for Him. If we are living in Him, we will bear fruit.

Ask: “What fruit will we bear?” (Allow a student to recite Galatians 5:22, 23.)

Bearing fruit helps us in our relationship with God and others. When the fruit is shown in our lives, it also helps others want to know Jesus.

Caring for the Branches

(Have a student read John 15:2. Explain the meaning of prune. Then examine the plant again. Take off any dead branches and pick off any dead leaves.) The pruning or cutting off dead leaves and stems is good for the branches. If the dead parts are not removed, they can carry plant diseases and insects that will infect other parts of the plant too. It is the same with our lives. Did you know that one sin that we allow to stay in our lives will weaken us spiritually and make it easier for us to sin again? For example, if we do something wrong, we may feel we have to lie then to cover up the wrong.

Either the infected part of the plant has to be gotten rid of or the whole plant will die. God wants us to remove sin from our lives so we will not be cast away like branches that are infected. He does not want to cast us away from Him when we sin; He would rather remove the sin from our lives. God loves us even when we have sinned—but He hates the sin and cannot allow it. If we hang onto sin, we choose to be separated from God. We should ask God to take the sin from our lives just as dead branches are removed.

How is sin removed from our lives? God’s Word gives us the formula for living a clean life: If we repent and confess our sins, we will be forgiven and made clean inside. (Have students read Acts 3:19 and 1 John 1:9.)

Remaining in Jesus

How does a Christian bear fruit? (Read John 15:4 together. Break off a healthy branch and hold it up.)

Ask: “Can a healthy branch that has been broken off the vine bear fruit?”

No matter how healthy the branch starts out, it cannot remain healthy away from the vine. It will die. We likewise must remain in Jesus in order to be healthy Christians. The vine gives the branches life. Jesus gives our spirit life. (Repeat the memory verse several times.)

To remain in Jesus means to spend time with Him every day. Here is the secret: (Read John 15:5.) Are you the kind of person who sometimes says: “I would rather do it myself. I do not need any one to help me”? Be careful for this attitude will hurt your Christian life. You cannot live for God and have eternal life by your own power. Remember that without Jesus you will die spiritually.

When you remain in Jesus by reading and obeying the Bible and praying daily (hold up the plant and remaining branches), you will have the power of the Holy Spirit to help you live for God and be spiritually healthy.

Ask: “How can this sign apply to our lesson?” (Allow responses.)

As Christians we need to stay close to Jesus after we are saved, rather than receiving salvation and then turning away from God to live as we want.

Being a Christian does not work that way. If we do not remain in Jesus by loving and obeying Him, we cannot expect Him to remain in us. The Holy Spirit helps us in our spiritual life, but we must do our part to be spiritually healthy and grow by reading and obeying God’s Word and praying daily.

Apart from the Vine (indicate the broken branch in your hand) you will receive no strength, no power and no ability. You may seem like a healthy Christian at first. For a short time, no one will notice you are dying spiritually. But very soon you will wither and die. Your Christian life and testimony will fade.

(Have a student read John 15:6. Then toss the broken branch you have been holding into the trash bin.)

Ask: “What may keep you from remaining in Jesus?” (Allow discussion.)

Maybe you are too busy “doing your own thing.” You know what Jesus wants you to do, and you want to do it, but there is something else you want to do more. If you really meant to stay in the Vine, Jesus must always be more important than anything else.

There are other things that can keep you from remaining in Jesus. If you always want to have credit for doing something good, or if you always want others to notice when you do what is right, you may be trying to get along without the Vine.

Jesus has made a wonderful promise to Christians who stay close to Him. (Have a student read John 15:7.) Those remaining in Jesus will want to do God’s will, and when they ask for help to do God’s will, He will help them do it.

Three requirements are given to us in John 15:7 for God to answer prayers. Did you notice them? (List these on the chalkboard.)

Read:                                      Write on the chalkboard:

“If you remain in me”          1. Remain in Jesus

“and my words                    2. Know God’s will

  remain in you”                  through His Word

“ask whatever                     3. Ask for His will

you wish, and it will be given you.”

If we remain in Jesus, we will bear fruit and be His disciples or followers. If we keep His commandments, we will live and walk in His love. We are to do the things God’s Word teaches us to do just as Jesus did what God told Him to do. Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow because He has never failed to do what God wanted. (Read John 15:8–10)

(Ask a student to explain the comparison of Jesus and believers to a vine and branches.)

Ask: “Why do you think Jesus told His followers these things about the vine, about remaining in Him, and about bearing fruit?” (Discuss this. Then have a student read John 15:11.)

If you would like to live a true joy-filled life, ask God to help you clean the sin out of your life. Then remain in Jesus every day by reading His Word, obeying Him, and talking to Him in prayer and praise. The Christian life is a continuous, personal, daily relationship with Jesus.

Accepting God’s Word

Stress that our Christian growth begins when we repent of our sins (are truly sorry for them and stop them) and ask Jesus to forgive our sins. Our salvation then connects us to “the Vine”—Jesus. Then we can remain in the Vine every day by reading the Bible, praying, and obeying God. We also meet with other believers to worship.

Christmas Blessing

A Fulani chief moved through our area once a year, and would stay for about two months. He always sent word to me of his arrival and we would visit often. He was very much aware of my love for Jesus and Jesus' love for him.

On one occasion, two days before Christmas, he sent me a gift—a large sheep for our Christmas feast. I was teaching at a Bible school, but the students had all left for holiday season. So, my wife and I invited the three Bible school teachers and their families for a feast on Christmas Eve. The food and fellowship were excellent. It made Christmas very special!

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Fulani Children

1. Children to respect their parents,
2. Older children to learn responsibility as they care for the younger ones,
3. Messengers of the gospel to be aware of the spiritual needs of children.

Prayer Promise

"Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them" (Matthew 19:14).

Remember: EVERY DAY WITH JESUS

Memory verse: John 15:4
"No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

1. Jesus is the vine. I am the branch.
2. I stay in Jesus by loving and obeying Him.
3. Jesus is at my side helping me, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Always!

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Study 8 | Come Holy Spirit/Born Again | africaatts.org/go-teach

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