So I attend an amazing church. It's definitely not perfect, but all I know is that my pastor, Scott Cagle, allows the Holy Spirit to speak through him and a word of truth is given out every single week. The worship is intense and powerful and God is definitely there. (And the worship pastor is pretty cute) :-)
On Sunday, Scott gave a message taken from John 15 where Jesus talks about how He is the true vine. It really struck a chord with me.
When I think of that passage, I often think about the song "His banner over me is love" that I used to sing as a child. One of the verses says "He is the vine and we are the branches, His banner over me is love."
Though I've heard this concept a million times in my Christian life, I've never truly understood it until this Sunday.
John 15:1 says that "I am the true vine and my Father is the Gardener." I just always thought this to be a happy little analogy of God's family, but do you get what this means? A gardener prunes away the branches that don't help the plant. He throws them to the fire! Why wouldn't he?
If we are the branches, it looks like we have two choices. We either remain on the vine and bear fruit, or we pinch ourselves off and get thrown into the fire! I choose option 1 please!
The only way to bear good fruit in this life, to do anything of value as a Christian, is to remain connected to the vine. The vine is our source of nourishment. How do we stay connected? The word, fellowship with other believers, and daily chats with our gardener.
If you do not allow God's love to flow through you, if you do not make life decisions based on His word then you are useless to the whole vine and you will be cut off.
I truly believe that there will be a ton of people on judgement day that claim to be Christians and even attended church every once in a while but chose to be connected to the world and the world's standards instead of the vine that will be sorely dissappointed. This breaks my heart.
This challenges me to improve my connection. I have definitely allowed myself to become somewhat lazy in my walk at times and I fear being pruned away because I'm not producing fruit. I want my life to count for the kingdom, and more than anything, I want the love of God to flow through me and be evident to the people around me.
Remain in the word. Remain in the vine. Remain in God's love. The vine doesn't move, only I do, and I choose to stay.