We’ve all experienced that eager feeling of standing at an airport gate, waiting for the plane to disembark, in anticipation of seeing someone special in our lives who has been away. VOUS Church was just as eager to welcome our brother, Pastor Chris Durso from Christ Tabernacle Church in New York. Leaning further into our understanding of Jesus’ I Am statements, Pastor Durso preached “I Am The Vine” from the parable found in John 15:1-5.
“The cost of connecting does not outweigh the benefits of bearing fruit.” – Chris Durso
As Jesus’ final hours were approaching, he pleaded with his disciples in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” While there is a cost to connecting with Jesus, following the alternative options will never bear fruit in our lives.
FOLLOWING JESUS IS DANGEROUS BUT NOT FOLLOWING HIM IS DEADLY.
We may go through seasons where it seems like Jesus isn’t the easiest option in our lives. We may not like his terms and conditions. In a season of loneliness, we may seek out other options. John 15:1 reminds us Jesus is the true vine, he is not just a way but the real and only way to salvation. All other options are counterfeit and unfit for us.
GOD CUTS AWAY WHAT WE DON’T NEED
Galatians 5:22-23, tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.” We cannot be strong in one of these areas and lacking in another. These traits together are one fruit that either grow or wither. When we connect with God, we allow him to cut unhealthy relationships, poor lifestyle choices and hardened attitudes out of our lives. We also allow him to prune and steward us so that we may bear fruit and become greater in him.
WHEN WE CHOOSE TO GO FORWARD WITH LESS, WE END UP MOVING FORWARD WITH MORE
We are the branches. As branches, we have the privilege of sharing his life, and the responsibility of abiding. As friends, we have the privilege of knowing his will and the responsibility of obeying. In short, to abide is to obey and with obedience comes an abundance far greater than any of us could have imagined otherwise.
YOU CAN LIVE ON YOUR OWN HOWEVER THERE’S NO LIFE OUTSIDE OF HIM
When a family member is struggling with their health or being stressed out unable to pay bills on time. It is tempting and seductive to give up, give in to worry, or simply not trust in God. We tend to choose our own way, but if we take on the cost of connecting to Jesus, we will find that the fruit of his spirit shapes our response to life’s discomforts and tragedies. We will face these moments with confidence, believing he never fails. As a result of losing, we gain.
As you move into your week, make the commitment to connect with Jesus and to abide in him. Allow him to bear fruit in your life so that you may live in the abundance that you were created to know.
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