Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'll take one Jesus to go please!

Last night I was walking my high school students through the following verses.

John 15:1-8 (The Message) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

Then something I have heard a thousand times stood out. In verse four Jesus tells us to LIVE in Him. In other versions its ABIDE or REMAIN. This is a constant. It means continually being plugged into Christ. Yet often times we have the "Jesus to-go" mentality. We attend our services, Bible studies or Christian events to get what we want/need from them and then hit the road.

Here is the imagery I used last night to explain the difference of what this verse is asking us to do and what we tend to do:

Imagine a bowl filled with punch and to the side a plastic cup. Pour some punch into the cup-This represents Christ in you. You can see Him, and you can conveniently take Him with you wherever you go. You might lose some of His presence (evaporate, spill out as you walk etc), but who cares, “once saved always saved!” But is that sufficient for you? Is that enough? Or would you rather it be like this? Place the cup inside the punch bowl-This is you in Christ. You are so engulfed in Him that all anyone can see when they look at you is Christ. You go where He goes and you are always full of His Spirit when you are in Him.

Notice the differences? Typically we reflect a "Christ in us" attitude where we take Him wherever we go. But Jesus desires an "us in Christ" attitude- we go where He goes.

That's what this verse asks us to do but why? So that we will have life, bear fruit, and grow. The longer a piece of fruit is away from its vine, the more it decays and rots. The same takes place the longer we are away from our life-giving Source, Jesus.

He doesn't want to see us just take some Jesus to go. He tells us to remain, abide, and live with our roots in His love constantly.

1 comment:

Brian and Cherie Landowski said...

Thanks so much for this reminder Bethany. I needed it so much today!

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