Friday, October 16, 2009

Humility is the Secret - John 15:1-17

(1) "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  (2) 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.  (3) You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  (4) Remain in me, and I will 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.   (5) "I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  (6) If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned.  (7) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.  (8) This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  (9) "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  (10) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.  (11) I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  (12) My command is this; Love each other as I have loved you.  (13) Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  (14) You are my friends if you do what I command.  (15) I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  (16) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  (17) This is my command: Love each other.

Jesus is serious as he says this to you and me and all of humanity.  When we finally understand that, truly, apart from Jesus, we can do nothing, our spirits are open to all he has waiting for us.  Jesus paid the ultimate price for all of us when he died on the cross for our sins.  We must humble ourselves before him and give him the glory and honor he deserves.  We don't deserve a thing we receive, really.
Jesus didn't say we will get everything we want.  He desires us to have a healthy relationship with him.  When our hearts are focused on him and we are obedient believers, and our desires are consistent with his will, our heavenly Father fulfills his promise to answer our prayers.
God doesn't want part of us all the time or all of us part of the time.  He wants all of us all of the time.  He has no use for lukewarm Christians.  We are either true, obedient believers or we are not.  Get off the fence.  (I say this with all the love in my heart, because I care about your place in eternity.)
With humble and contrite heart, we come before him and obey his commands.  He doesn't ask us to love each other if we feel like it.  He is not concerned about our feelings as much as he wants us to be more like him.  It isn't easy, but it is what he called us to do.  He commands us to love each other.  That means, rather than feeling a certain way, we are to do loving things.

Humility is the secret.

In Christian love, your sister in Christ.  Nan

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