It was great worshiping with you all this past Sunday as we looked at the statement from Jesus, "I am the vine and you are the branches" from John 15. I was tempted to stop the sermon after William Summers articulated perfectly the image of the vine and branches for us. The image of God pruning us as branches so that we might be more fruitful continues to challenge me as I want to be more fruitful, but I am not so sure I want to be pruned in order to do so. Yet, if that is what it takes, I want to be willing and ready to submit to whatever God needs to do in my life so that I can be who he has created me to be.
The longer I live, the more aware I become of how true the statement is that "apart from me you can do nothing." Jesus is the source of my life and your life. As branches, we don't exist apart from the vine. As branches, we are invited to be a part of the life giving mission of Christ in our world. He was not and is not interested in doing a solo act of giving life to the world. He calls us and invites us to bear fruit, and through us, gives life to the world. I am still amazed that he decided to call me and use me. Yet, his desire is to use all of us as branches to bear the life giving fruit of love to the world. May we produce and bear this life giving fruit as we learn to remain in Him as He remains in us. I keep asking myself, what do I need to change in my life so that I am consistently doing things to remain in Him?
As we continue the "I am" series this Sunday, March 23, we will be looking at John 8:12 which says, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." I encourage you to read John 8:1-30 before Sunday as we will take a closer look at what Jesus meant by this I am statement.