Tonight my pastor taught on John 15, and honestly it hit me like a wrecking ball. (Insert your own Miley Cyrus joke here.)
John 15:1-8 and 16-17 “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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”
If you have followed the Lord for any amount of time, you have probably heard a sermon or 8 on this section. It probably went something like this.
1 If you are a Christian, you are expected to bear fruit. Meaning, there should be positive effects on your life and most possibly others’ lives that can be seen because of how you live.
2 If you are a Christian, you will be pruned. God will strip you of things to make you more like Himself, and it will be painful.
These are both super important points. I could talk about each for a long time, but hearing them again wasn’t what rocked me tonight. What rocked me was the idea that there is a source of life.
“Apart from Me, you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers…” Michel Henry said, “God is life, he is the essence of life, or if we prefer, the essence of life is God.”
I’m not sure where along the way I forgot this, but I have. Doing anything, including and especially ministry, for any period of time without seeking out the source of life… that’s a slow painful death.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3
I felt a renewed desire to seek out life today. To sit at Jesus’ feet and let Him breathe it into me. I hope it's contagious.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10