Fully Alive:
Becoming The Man God Intended

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Know The Root…Before You Eat The Fruit

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:1-6

As we study John 15:1-6 we often focus upon the vine-to-branch connection.  For a moment I want us to see the larger flow implied here in perhaps a different way that may bring about a more contemporary application.  I do not think it would be a theological mistake to consider the root of the plant as representing God the Father.  In doing so consider this—The Father is the root and beginning of everything.  From Him comes the Son who is the Vine.  Here Jesus, the Vine, is calling us His people, who now also have access to the Holy Spirit, to be connected as His branches.  Then, the very natural by-product becomes righteous fruit affecting our world.

 For me this is a powerful picture of the kind of flow that will ultimately produce the right kind of fruit.  So, at this point let me ask a question.  How do we evaluate the fruit of a person’s life?  Maybe this is a better question, is it possible to misdiagnose the fruit?  We have all heard the term, “Rhino”.  It stands for Republicans in name only.  I heard someone say recently that we have “Chrino’s”, Christians in name only.  Even Jesus tells us that there are many who call themselves Christian, yet he suggests, I never knew you. 

The cheaper the internal quality…the more external gloss is required.  Dr. Edwin Louis Cole

The above quote by Ed Cole is unfortunately so true.  Today we have turned fake appearance into an art form.  Much of this, of course, is made possible by our infatuation with all things social media.  I can portray myself any way I want. As believers it is, of course, very important to look for this kind of superficiality in all who profess to be Christian, however, that is not the main reason for my writing this article.

I want to address perhaps the greatest problem facing our country, and perhaps the entire world, certainly in my lifetime.  We are caught up in great theatre.  Those in leadership today have done a masterful job of drawing your attention to fruit that is not real…at worst, poisonous.  Our entire education system has moved from teaching our kids how to think, to what to think.  We have been indoctrinated into a sense of reality that is not what it appears.     

The Bible warns us in Matthew 7:15-17 to beware—look at the fruit of a person.  But what if it’s a wax apple.  They look authentic but I would not suggest trying to eat one.  Dear friends I believe we are putting our trust in people whose message sounds and looks good but whose roots are dead, or worse, demonic.  That is how the devil works—we know it—but for the sake of convenience and time we fail to examine the root. 

Do we need to look any further back than what we have been force-fed for the past seven to eight years about Russia collusion, Covid, vaccines, racism, global warming, the war in Ukraine, insurrection, the border crisis?  Most of us were not encouraged to examine any alternative conclusions to any of narratives around these important issues—we were told what to think and shut down if we did not go along with the prevailing messaging. 

Who is at fault here?  We are.  Too many of us fell for it because we did not examine the root.  Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills just released a new book titled, Daze Of Deception.  Brilliant title—we are literally living in a fog of purposefully misleading information.   I am so very proud of him as he believes as I that the job of a Christian leader today is to help believers out of the fog.

All the ways of a person are clean in his own sight, but the Lord examines the motivesProverbs 16:2

The above Proverb is one of my favorites and very profound.  It reminds us that man will always try to manipulate but God knows better—He examines the motives of our heart.  My friend, that is what we are called to do.  What is at the root of what we are hearing and seeing?  Money, power, control?  Before you buy into what anyone says we need to take the time to check it out.

I want to close with a classic example I encountered just today.  A commentator on a network I will not mention actually said that people who are for Joe Biden tend to be more likely to have a college education, live in the big cities and tend to be wealthier.  In response another commentator said, so the ones voting for Trump are stupid.  Let that sink in.  This is not an endorsement of any candidate, just a sad commentary on where we are today.

A non-thinking person will tend to accept this, especially if it is coming from their trusted news source.  A thinking person might ask, college education…or college indoctrination???

Two takeaways—first, the only real source of truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ.  The way to be enlightened in anything related to this life is to be grafted into His.  We need to make sure we are in His word every day.  Second, and only after we have been in the word, get to the root (motive), challenge everything you are being fed—I mean literally everything!


Please enjoy the teaching below from Vince about how to find God’s purpose for your life.