Grow, Pray & Study Guide: Rooted Series, Week 2

Our hope at River City is that you grow daily in your walk with God! One way to do that is to spend time with God every day. This Grow, Pray and Study Guide (GPS) is just one easy way to connect with God on a daily basis.


Monday—John 15:1-5

John speaks of God pruning branches so that they can become more fruitful. Pruning includes the removing of bad branches or even weeds, but it also includes the removing of branches that once bore great fruit. These are the branches that are the hardest to prune because they normally come with emotional attachment to the “way things once were.” These branches can be the most important to prune because the new branches can produce even greater fruit. Are there things in your life that are “good things” that might need to be adjusted or removed so even more fruitful practices can come to life?

Tuesday—John 15:5-8

John 15:5 has always been a hard verse for me. “Apart from ME you can do…nothing.” That seems like a hard statement. But it is a true statement. Apart from Christ our efforts aren’t what they could be. If I remain in Christ the fruit from my efforts grow. Or could it be seen another way? If my efforts remain in Christ…if they are done for Christ’s glory could they produce more fruit. Matthew 5:14-16 challenges Christians to “let their light shine so people can see good deeds and glorify our Heavenly Father.” Colossians 3:17 challenges us to do everything we do to the full glory of God. I wonder what looking at my work or school as working for the Lord would do towards my efforts? I wonder if it would produce more fruit if I focused on Christ in those efforts. In your day to day life how can you refocus things to center them on Christ and produce more fruit?

Wednesday—John 15:1-17

Repeat, repeat, repeat. John sure is repetitive in these verses. Fruit, remain, abide (depending on your translation). Look back at John 15:1-17. What words are repeated? How many times are they repeated? The words that show up over and over in my translation are FRUIT and REMAIN. Let me ask you something, have you ever walked by a tomato plant and heard a tomato yelling, “GROW…COME ON DANGIT…GROW?” If you answer yes to this question please seek medical attention. I’ve never heard this! Why, because a tomato is not “clinging” to the vine. It is “remaining” in the vine. Therefore it grows. What I’m getting at is the need to enjoy the presence of God rather than to strain in an effort to grow. Yes, spiritual growth is important, but it is all based on the foundation (vine) of God’s love and acceptance of us as we are and not as we should be because we are never going to be “fully as we should be.” Take some time to watch this youtube video and “remain in God’s love.”

Thursday—John 15:9-17

This is a high calling. “Greater love is laying down your life for your friends.” Yes, Jesus was about to give the biggest example of this in laying down his life on the cross, but just moments before these words he had challenged his disciples to serve all when he washed their feet and challenged them to “go and do likewise.” You probably won’t be asked to step in front of a bus for one of your friends today, but you might be asked to lay your life down. Your time. Your agenda. Your comfort. Your priority. No greater love is this than making room for someone today. Who will that someone be?

Friday—John 15:1-17

On Wednesday we were challenged to “remain” rather than “cling” to the vine. If we remain, growth becomes a natural process day after day. This sounds simple enough, but it is also very intentional and it leads to amazing fruit, passion and energy to let our light shine so people might be pointed to Christ. This song challenges us “not to go through the motions.” I think that is what John 15:5 is talking about. If I’m not connected to the vine—if I’m not connected deeply to Christ then my efforts aren’t necessarily about producing fruit but about producing a feeling of closeness to God. Again, from a foundation of love and acceptance may we remain in the vine by intentional actions that keep us close to Christ. Check out this song and think about things that help you “remain” and in turn “produce fruit.”