Weekend Message Takeaway: “The Master Gardener”

This weekend, we continued our study through the Gospel of John with a powerful teaching from John 15, where we see Jesus and the disciples walking towards the Garden of Gethsemane. In this message, Pastor Doug explored Jesus’ final “I am” statement—“I am the Vine”—as we learned how to bear true fruit in our lives.  

Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.


Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug's teaching this weekend:

Understanding Jesus’ Statement

  • God Is the Master Gardener: We were created for God’s garden, to bear fruit. We were planted for God’s pleasure and glory, and He provided for us abundantly . . . but we yielded bad fruit.
  • Christ Jesus Is the True Vine: He is the life source; the only One who can meet our deepest needs and rescue us.
  • We Are the Branches: Wood from a vine is absolutely useless. It only has value when it’s connected to the vine; the wood’s only value is to support the connected fruit. 
  • Fruit: It’s what we produce when we remain connected to the vine, when we remain in and abide in Christ. It’s the product of our connection to Christ as the fruits of the Spirit, His character, become evident in our lives.

Staying Connected Produces Fruit (John 15:1–8; Galatians 5:22–23): This is not robotic self-discipline. It’s a byproduct of our connection to Christ. Remember, Christ made it clear in John 13 that the measure of our maturity in Him and connection to Him was the love we have for one another. And as we continue to grow in Him daily, as we become more conformed to His image through the work of the Holy Spirit, we will see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control pour out of our lives. None of these fruits are independent of one another, they all go hand-in-hand; they’re all fruits on the same branch.

Reflection: How are you remaining in the flow of His love? How are remaining connected?

Being Disconnected Produces No Lasting Fruit (John 15:5; Galatians 5:19–21): Dead wood, on its own, cannot bear fruit. Upon initial disconnection from its source, it may still look healthy, but that won’t last long. Whatever fruit had been produced may live for a short time, but before long it will fade; it will eventually wither away and die. If you’ve been disconnected from Christ for a while, this may begin to become evident in your life soon. Some signs of this are a feeling of distance from God, an attitude of coasting and going through the motions, or becoming more judgmental, easily angered, or hostile towards those with whom you disagree.

God Wants You to Share His Love and His Joy (John 15:9–17): Jesus wants to produce much fruit in and through us. He doesn’t think small; He wants to do great things in our lives. And He has invited us to share in FULL joy (15:11), FULL peace (14:27), and FULL love (15:10) . . . all we need to do is keep His commandments. Sometimes, this involves pruning, where the Master Gardener cuts off dead branches in our lives so the healthy ones can bear more fruit. This may be painful in the moment, but it’s good! It makes us more reliant on Him, compels us to abide in Him all the more deeply. That is, after all, our one job . . . to stay connected to Him. Jesus promises us—He makes the statement ten times—that if we remain in Him, we will bear MUCH fruit, as His life flows through our veins.

Your Vine Assessment:
How close do you want to be to Him? Ask yourself these questions and rate your answers on a scale of 1–10 regarding the frequency at which these things happen in your life. So, in your friendship with God . . .

1. Do you pray with confidence?
2. Do you have a deep assurance of His love?
3. Do you experience His joy?
4. Do you have a deep love for people?
5. Do you have a passionate desire to share His love with others?

Quote to Remember: God is not interested in fake fruit.Pastor Doug Sauder

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." While this is a law of physics, it also applies to our spiritual life. In this article, Pastor Dan Hickling uses the example of David's affair with Bathsheba to explain the effect sin has in our lives. Click here to read the article.

First Saturday of Each Month, 3–5:30pm |Outreach Meeting Room (Fort Lauderdale Campus)
If you feel called by God to lead a community group, we’d love for you to join us at our next community group leadership training! Experience the joys of community as you discover just how much better we are together. For more information and to let us know you’re coming, click here.

New Session Start in August
Are you new to Calvary? Did you recently make the decision to follow Jesus? Are you looking to plug into our church? Connect is the perfect starting point for you! Connect is a four-week experience for those who are new to Christianity, curious about Calvary, or want to get involved. It’s a place where you can ask questions, learn more about Jesus, find great community, and discover how you can be part of something bigger than all of us. Click here to sign up for sessions starting next month!

Every day we want to help connect you to God so you can grow in your faith. One way we do that is through our Daily Devo written by various Calvary pastors and leaders. Follow along with our teaching series as you receive encouragement from God’s Word and learn applicable biblical principles. Click here to sign up! 

Join us this Wednesday as we continue our study through David’s life with a message from 2 Samuel 15. In this chapter, we’ll see how David’s son Absalom begins to rebel against his father and the consequences he suffers from it.

This weekend, Pastor Doug will share a powerful teaching from John 15:18–16:33. In this study, we’ll explore why the world hates and persecutes Christ-followers as we learn the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the comfort we can have in Christ during times of trouble. 

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.