Most everyone has heard that Jesus did the vine and we are the branches. That is this passage.
There is the “on the nose” imagery meaning – stay connected to God through Jesus and we will bear fruit. Fruit being many different things (to me). An all around Godly lifestyle with the fruits of the spirit, salvations or discipleship relationships, strong prayer time, etc.
But what jumped out at me was that Jesus said He was the true vine. Meaning there are different vines to be connected to, but Jesus alone will lead to the Father and eternal life. That was comforting and still so….simple. I love that about Jesus – He is comforting, truthful, and simple. He isn’t complicated or deceiving – Simple and unconditional love.
As He tells us of His love, He tells us His purpose – to fill us with joy! Not just momentary hapoiness, but a lifetime and lifestyle of joy. The joy that enables people to smile and laugh in the midst of tragedy, knowing that God has something in this that will be for His glory!
That is His purpose intended for us and His intentional purpose for us to do is love our friends (and enemies and frienemies). To show this love for others is by laying our lives down. Sometimes that is literally what we do – we sacrifice the breath in our lungs, our future days for those around us. Those are cases of martyrdom; such as those that fill the Jesus freak testimonies or Christian genocide (probably the wrong word there but you know what I mean) as being committed by ISIS. But the Lord is being glorified by those martyrs and their executioners are finding the unconditional love of Jesus Christ!
There are other meanings to sacrificing your life to show Christ’s love to others around you. Everyday things that you probably wouldn’t even notice could be impacting. A listening ear with Godly advice (advice based on the Word, so you gotta spend time in the Word), an obedient action to a boss who purposefully humiliates you (that’s called honor folks and honoring imperfect humans is NOT EASY), a good work ethic – showing up and doing the best for the glory of God, not for a promotion of a pat on the back, but for Jesus! People notice everything – lead them to Jesus by your actions.
The last thing that I love is that God has chosen each of of us for a specific task. It is up to us to accept it and be obedient when He asks. Because when He asks us, it is because He has spent time I cannot describe planning out that moment for you to shine for Him, for another person to come closer to Jesus, for lives to be saved and changed. He does that for EACH ONE OF US. No exceptions. He did it for me, He did it for yoh, He is doing that planning for everyone on the planet – will we be obedient?
He has chosen, He has called, He has appointed, He has placed, and He will equip.