I wanted to share with you our Church's sermon from yesterday. Even a person with a Mature relationship with Jesus Christ can mistake mis-information or nearly-truth, for truth.
Pete reminded us that there is no command to Bear Fruit. Jesus does not say, "...now, you, go bear fruit." He says, "Abide in me...and you will bear fruit."
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
I know there is a lot of "fruit...tree...branches talk here (and even more if you read the whole chapter). But, this was a analogy very real and understandable to the people who Jesus was speaking to. They understood this very well...their lives depended on their crops bearing fruit. There was no Fry's or Safeway around the corner (neither is there one of those around my corner...but that is an entirely different subject for me to complain about at a different time).
Anyway, If you want a better understanding of "vines" bearing fruit...come on over...my tomato plants are pitiful. They are bearing about 1/3 of the fruit they could be...and one plant has NEVER born any. It's because I have neglected the pruning altogether and their climbing structure is pitiful and falling. The vine is weak and the dead branches are chocking out the life from the good branches.
But, that's okay. My tomatoes don't matter. But I matter. My abiding in Christ is directly related to my experiencing Joy.
Pete's Message was a blessing to me...convicting, encouraging. He reminds me that my struggle is not with anxiety...or anger or with being a servant, or with patience. My struggle is in abiding in Christ.
I thank my God that He has provided all I need to be able to abide in Him...His written words, translated and easily accessible...His people, to love and encourage me...His Spirit, already indwelling me, revealing what is true.
Take a little time...while you are surfing the net, looking for coupons, reading Facebook statuses or looking at posted pictures of someone's family vacation...to listen to the talk. I know you will be as encouraged as I am!