Monday, May 4, 2009

What prevents you from Abiding in Jesus Acts 8:26-40; John 1:1-8

Jesus says anyone who hopes for a fruitful life must must abide in him. He uses the image of a vine to explain the complete connection required in order for our lives to bear fruit. Jesus is talking about a total connection where the identity of the vine and the small part of the vine are indistinguishible.

Human natures leads us to resist God. We push for independence at every turn. Jesus says abide in him and thrive; try to live alone and you'll wither up. There's no easy way arround the law here. God's offering us life and we willfully choose to cut ourselves off from him.

Jesus knows that in order for us to survive we, just like a small part of a plant, must remain connected to the true vine. We can survive only as long as our lives are connected to life of the vine. Living connected with Jesus requires total dependence, a complete connection, to him and to his Word.

Jesus is inviting us to grow in a relationship that doesn't depended on a human schedule but on the will of the Holy Spirit. To be part of the vine is more than just our choice. Instead we grow as the Spirit leads us. The question that the Eunich ask Philip in Acts 8 has real traction:

Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” 38He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. Acts8:35-38
The church today needs to learn again this ancient lesson. The Holy Spirit can move faster than we can connecting people into the true vine. When we interfere with someones connection to the Jesus Christ we miss the gift that Jesus is offering us in the body of Christ.

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