Hard things to hear

Glad you’ve joined me again today.
I am the vine – John 15:5
The vine is the life source for the branches. In order to be capable of good fruit there must of necessity be a strong connection. Good fruit is good deeds, but it is more than this. There are morally “good” atheists in that they don’t do anything criminal or reprehensible. They’ll engage in philanthropy. They’ll adopt orphans. So are they connected to Jesus? No, because there’s more to good fruit than mere good deeds – it’s good deeds done in obedience to God, which demands these good deeds when it’s inconvenient, when it’s counter-intuitive, when you’re angry, when there’s no one looking. Only when we’re motivated by love for Jesus, by discipleship, by a real hunger and thirst for righteousness – really connected to the vine – can we produce the kind of fruit God seeks in us.
Chosen out of the world – John 15:19
Have you ever considered yourself chosen out of the world? Chosen perhaps – we like that, but the “OUT OF THE WORLD” part is a little more challenging. The outcome will be that the world will not care for us – hate us, actually. It’s a life changing perspective – witness the apostles.
Offering a service to God – John 16:2
In fact (touching on the last challenge) some, like Saul of Tarsus, would actually think that they were doing the Lord a favor. This sort of thing happens when people people are paying more attention to men than to God, to tradition rather than Scripture. Who do pay attention to?
Guided into all the truth – John 16:13
Did we really get all the information that we need to get to Haeven? Part of th e Spirit’s work among the apostles was guiding them, and thus the church, and the writers of Scripture into all the truth. No need for further revelation, no starter kit to be completed later.
I have overcome the world – John 16:33
It’s a wonderful promise to rely on that the victory has already been won. Yes, things will get hard. Yes it will seem overwhelming. Yes you’ll be tempted to give up, but don’t. Jesus has overcome the world! Are you living the victory – strong and certain?
Your word is truth – John 17:17
Not a theology. Not a philosopher. Not a well read author. Not the popular idea. God’s word. All of it, not part of it.
A real unity – John 17:20-21
Unity is often misunderstood these postmodern days. but rather than explaining all t he details of real unity, Jesus gives us the example – Himself and the Father. They have no differences in theology, in how one is saved, in our hope for the the afterlife, about moral standards, about worship patterns or anything else. Not the typical definition of denominational unity or postmodern unity – really union rather than unity. What God wants is unity.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.

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About parklinscomb

I'm a minister for the church of Christ in Manchester NH where I've worked since the 1970's. I'm a big fan of my family, archaeology, the Bible, the Lord's church, and Gander Brook Christian Camp.
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