Thursday, January 13, 2011

We have started our new series "GREEN" in Crossfire (our mid-week service for middle & high school students).  It's an amazing journey that we have started.  It all begins with Jesus using a metaphor for our relationship with him.  A simple metaphor that has rocked my world.  It's found in John 15:1-5

 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.

It's rocked my world because of Jesus overtones of simplicity.  How simple is it for a branch to receive it's nourishment- it's life from the Vine?  It's so simple that the branch does nothing other than just that- receive.  Because it receives all it needs from the Vine, it then grows fruit.  SO SIMPLE!

I have read and re-read these verses over the years and never completely understood what Jesus was saying to His audience and to me.  But something clicked this past year.  All the tumblers fell into place and I saw.  My job is to not "be" like Jesus- that's impossible.  My job, as a branch, is to do nothing more than to remain (abide/ stay close) in Him.  It is then that my life will change to reflect Him and His glory.

I blogged about this passage some time ago and it's effect on how I look at things, and will continue to blog and teach on it over the next month.  Our students will hear again and again that Christ desires for them to receive from Him everything, that there is nothing more satisfying in this world, than what He gives us.  These thoughts are not new or really even mine but have changed how I see Jesus, my relationship with Him, and how I teach about what it means to be a follower.

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