Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

John 15: 'Love Each Other'

****Please take time to visit Faith Filled Fiction. If you love good, faith based, clean stories, it's the place for you! :) This week's story is by M. J. Wille called 'Love Struck'. 

Blogging Through the Book of John

Chapter 15:

(John 15:1-4) “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

That tells me that if I want to lead others to Jesus (and that's one of my main missions on earth) then I have to stay close to Jesus. I have to bear fruit and remain in Jesus so He can remain in me. 

(John 15:5-6)“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 

Have you ever tried to do something without God's approval? How did that go for ya? I have, and it didn't go well. I was reading a book once that said to truly be happy, you had to say YES to God and do what He wanted... well, I got kinda upset and down about that. I got to wondering and worrying about "What if what I want to do for God isn't what He wants?"

Seriously, I was upset over it.

Then I read this verse and got to thinking.... if God doesn't want me to do (whatever... lets say write) then it's not going to happen no matter how much I want it. AND even if it does, it won't go well because He's not in it. We need to find what God wants us to do and focus on that, because if we do what *we* want, we are going to fall. Without God behind it, we can't do anything. And that's NOT a bad thing! It just means we get to try new and different things :)

(John 15:6-8) Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

Ouch! I don't want to be thrown away like a 'useless' branch. We need to keep our head, eyes, and ears in God's Word so it will remain in us.

(John 15:9-4)“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 

When you obey Jesus' commandments, you are showing him that you love him. After all he's done for us, isn't it only fair that we do that for him? 

He didn't say love the Christians, love those who believe like you, love those who look like you, love those who do things like you--- We are supposed to LOVE each other the way that Jesus loved us... and how did Jesus love us? He loved us all... the big sinning lot of us, enough to die for us. 

(John 15:13-14) There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 

I read this the other night and had tears in my eyes. How awesome to be Jesus' friend. I'm on Twitter now (@MartieKay) and I'm a twitter follower of one of my favorite authors, Colleen Coble. Well, she followed me back. One of the hashtags was to tag your favorite Christian author, and I of course put her name.  I got a friendly message back from her saying thanks, and I nearly fell over. I mean, Colleen Coble... 'talked' to me! Little ole me! Like a friend...

How much MORE amplified is that with Jesus? Do we get that giddy when the master of the entire universe talks to us? Ok, so he doesn't have a twitter account and talk to us directly, but we can see him in other's posts... and just in every day life if we look. I should be smiling like a clown everytime I get a 'message' from Jesus. He's our friend :)

(John 15:15-17) I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Jesus made sure he told them again to love each other. It was as hard for them then as it is for us now.

I love the part where Jesus says, "I chose you." Sure, he was talking to the disciples, but he's also talking to us. He CHOSE YOU to tell others about him, to spread his word, be it by Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, Writing, Email Signatures, or even face to face (the hardest one for me). No turning back now :) We have a job to do... just like the disciples did.

(John 15:18-25)“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures[a]: ‘They hated me without cause.’

Some people, spiritual people, have a hard time with the world. It gets them down. They are persecuted, not talked to, ignored, or things just don't go their way. Because it's like we live on the same Earth in 2 different realms.

The WORLD Realm has everything we could ever want: Lusts, Pleasures, Pride, Acclaimations, Awards, Anything you what for the taking...

The SPIRITUAL Realm is within the world, but different. We see the lusts, but we fight against it. If we fall through to the World Realm we feel bad about it. Same for everything else the world dangles in front of us like a carrot to get us to turn to the 'dark side'.

It's like these two forces constantly fighting, pulling at us. The only way we can ever make it through is with Jesus. When (I said WHEN not IF) we stumble, he's there to help us, to bring us back where we need to be.

(John 15:26-28) “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.

We are never alone. The Holy Spirit lives in us, guides us, and shows us how to live Godly lives. Do we always listen? Nope. Wouldn't it be great if we did. But we can be assured that he's there, no matter what.

God Bless You,


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